Book Tag – This or That?

Another week, another book tag. I found this one done by Bentley over at Book Bastion. I thought it looked like fun! I love the idea of the this or that book tag so I had to do it when I saw this one.

Reading in bed or on the couch? 

Amanda– Both, but generally on the couch during the day and in bed at night before I go to sleep.

Antonia– On the couch most of the time. I have trouble sleeping so I’ve been trying not to do other things in bed; reading, watching t.v., playing games, etc.

Male main character or Female main character?

Amanda– Again both. I love a strong female lead, especially in today’s world. But being a female, I do also enjoy reading books from a male point of view because it’s often so different from my own.

Antonia– Definitely both. I love really well written characters and when characters are written really well, their gender doesn’t matter all that much to me.

Sweet or salty snacks while reading? 

Amanda– It depends on what I’m in the mood for, I’m always going back and forth between salty and sweet.

Antonia– Ooh. I do have a crazy sweet tooth. I love chips and stuff too but I think sweet has to win.

Trilogies or Quartets? 

Amanda– Trilogies for sure.

Antonia– Either? It really just depends on the series. As long as the story isn’t dragged out too long, I’m good.

First person or third person POV?

Amanda– First person if it’s a book from on perspective but third person if there are alternating perspectives.

Antonia– I mostly agree with Amanda on this one. I also think certain genres and plots work better with one or the other.

Reading at night or in the morning? 

Amanda– At night. If I’m reading in the morning I can find some excuse or reason to keep reading for the rest of the day and I end up doing nothing but reading (but is that really a problem?)

Antonia– Afternoon? I need time to wake up before I can focus on anything and if I read at night I have to stop for sleep so I don’t get to read as much.

Libraries or bookstores?

Amanda– Libraries, because they’re still there to support my addiction even when I’m poor.

Antonia– Both. For places that both hold shelves and shelves of books they have such different feels to them.

Books that make you laugh or cry? 

Amanda– Laugh for sure. These days I cry at literally everything because pregnancy hormones are no joke so I’d rather laugh than cry even more.

Antonia– Definitely laugh. I get way too overemotional when books make me cry.

Black or white book covers?

Amanda– Black book covers. White ones get dirty and icky too quickly.

Antonia– Black. ^Amanda’s so smart.

Character driven or plot driven?

Amanda– A story is nothing without its characters.

Antonia– Ahhh! What kind of question is this? They’re both so important. I have to pick both. I love amazing, well-rounded characters but I also love complex, intricate plots.

That’s all we have for today’s tag bookworms!

I’m going to tag –

Danielle at YAAllegience

Alana at The Bookish Chick

Ashley at Thrifty Bibliophile

To participate in this fun tag if they feel like it!

Book Tag – Halsey

halsey book tag.jpg

Hi lovelies!

Back at it again with another book tag. I love Halsey so when I saw this book tag done on Downright Dystopian’s page I knew I had to play too! This tag is originally created by Paper Riot. Now, onto the book tag!

castle

Amanda- Aelin Galathynius for sure. She’s from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. She’s kickass and doesn’t take anything from anyone. She even has the choice to not become queen and abandon her throne but steps up and shows the world that she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Antonia- Definitely Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I just loved watching her grow throughout this series.

coming down

Amanda- I’m going to say all of the scenes written by Lynsay Sands. Sexy vampires from Atlantis? Yes please.

Antonia- Hmm… this is a tough one because I read a TON of romance. I’ll say anything by Julia Quinn because her love stories are just the best.

control

Amanda- The Darkling, for sure. He’s from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I don’t know what it is, but momma loves some Darkling.

Antonia- Queen Savilla from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. She’s the queen of the endarkened (demons) and is simply evil. I just love that she has no redeeming qualities. She’s terrifying and awful and makes a fantastic villain.

drive

Amanda- This was the hardest one for me out of all of these questions. I’ve decided to go with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Our main character is forever trapped in a love triangle between the (mostly) marriage material  Joe Morelli and the sexiest man alive, Ranger. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lack of communication, more like a stalemate. They communicate but not enough for Stephanie to be able to actually make a decision between the two. (Though I don’t think I ever want her to actually make that final choice.)

Antonia- Kvothe and Denna from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I really enjoy them together and wouldn’t mind seeing them actually get together in the future but they keep so many secrets and they’re both so mysterious that it gets in the way of them ever actually having a relationship.

empty gold

Amanda- Tamlin and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I talk about this in my reviews for this series, linked here. Though I’m sure many people feel this way. This is the couple that popped into my head as soon as I read the question. I loved them so much in the first book and then Tamlin just, ugh.

Antonia- Ember and Riley from The Talon Series by Julie Kagawa. I wanted them to be together for the first couple books so bad then somehow I ended up loving Garret so much that I stopped wanting her to be with Riley. (I still love Riley though.) And me changing my mind about characters that drastically really doesn’t happen often.

ghost

Amanda- This may be biased because of my pregnancy hormones. But when I read the breakup scene in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova I literally spent a solid hour crying. To the point where my husband wasn’t sure what to do with me and just hugged me while I cried for an hour. I’m pretty sure he thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia- For me, this will always be Lyra and Will’s breakup at the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I was around twelve when I first read it and cried for days. I still cry hysterically every time I reread it.

haunting

Amanda- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Every once in a while I say to myself, “you know what was a good book, Love Letters to the Dead. I should read that again.” I have recently bought it on my Kindle (I got it from the library the first time.) and I’m planning to reread it soon.

Antonia- All of them. This is actually a huge problem for me because I continue to think about books long after I’ve read them; it actually keeps me up at night. It’s why I reread so many books over and over again.

hold me down

Amanda- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I’m super not sorry about this either. The whole series is being written and released from Christian’s perspective. I have the first two and am waiting for the third to be released. While I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, I will absolutely be buying and reading the third so I have all six books.

Antonia- Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I actually need to catch up on this one but since I first discovered these books I’ve been a little obsessed with them even though there’s now 29 books in the series and Kenyon’s still writing.

hurricane

Amanda- If you read my posts on a regular basis you should already know the answer to this question. Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you haven’t read it read my review here.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. This will forever be my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptation. I reread it at least once a year and it always just gives me this light, happy feeling inside.

is there somewhere

Amanda- Every and all of the couples we find in The Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. This is a 50+ book series that spans over a ridiculous amount of years, several generations, and many worlds. Every couple we meet and read about has to go through some (usually life-threatening) struggle before they get their happy ending.

Antonia- Adrian and Sydney from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. One of my favorite book couples but they struggle so much to keep their relationship going when both vampires and humans judge them for it. At one point Sydney’s actually institutionalized by her family for it.

new americana

Amanda- I try not to use the same book over and over when I do these tags, but I can’t help it for this. I would LOVE to be part of the Night Court squad from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, reviewed here. It’s from the ACOTAR series, but we don’t get to meet them until the second book, so I’m using that one.

Antonia- The Demigods from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Awesome magical powers? Check. Funny and amazing and need to be my best friends? Double check.

roman holiday

Amanda- Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars by John Green. See my review here to get a more detailed post of my thoughts on this book. I love Hazel and Gus together because they’re both just kids that had to grow up too fast and spent too much time thinking about death. Then they found each other and had a bright spot in their lives, a reason to live if you will.

Antonia- Amanda and Chris from Beheld by Alex Flinn. I talked about them in my review (here) and I just loved them together so much I think I actually squealed while reading it.

strange love

Amanda- Chaol from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a good one for this I think. So many people hate him after certain events in the series. I understand why he did what he did and still love him even though it cost him his relationship with Celaena.

Antonia- Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. I’ve read quite a few reviews from people who didn’t like her which kind of astounds me because I adore her.

trouble

Amanda- Rose and Mason from the Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank. I wanted to put them for an OTP with obstacles, but honestly I don’t think they’ll end up together no matter how much I want them to be.

Antonia- None. Toxic relationships are pretty much an instant DNF for me. I’ve read about a lot of flawed relationships (e.g. Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns by John Green) but nothing that I would actually consider toxic. Even with examples like Quentin and Margo, I enjoyed reading about them but still didn’t ship them.

walk the line

Amanda- Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. This series is a super interesting twist on the Gods (from all different cultures) which is a topic I really like. I couldn’t put this series down once I started it.

Antonia- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and is still one of the most unique fairytale retellings I’ve read.

young god

Amanda- This one is easy. Lyss and Hal from Cinda Williams Chima’s Shadowcaster (reviewed here) are both totally falling in love (if they’re not already in love) with one another. But neither will admit it.

Antonia- Hazel and Frank from Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. They get together later on in the series but for pretty much this entire book, they both are secretly pining for the other. It was adorable.

gasoline

Amanda- Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, reviewed here. I hate to even say this because I love her but I also really hate her. I guess I love to hate her. Okay, I lied. I don’t hate to say it. She’s totally my favorite destructive character.

Antonia- Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. He’s so focused on his revenge the entire time that he ignores the chance to make a better life for himself but at the same time, his revenge plot is absolutely insane and amazing at the same time.

 

Book Tag – Reader’s Problems

We’ve become obsessed with book tags and we’re not sorry about it. We found the Reader’s Problems Book Tag posted by Linda at Linda’s Little Library! She has some great posts over there, so go check out her page. We saw this tag and thought it looked like fun.

You have 20,000 books on your TBR list. How in the world do you decide which book to read next? 

Amanda- This is actually a real life, everyday problem. One that I’m currently facing. I have at least twenty books on my TBR and I almost dread finishing a book because I don’t want to have to think about what I’m going to read next. But when I do finally decide, it’s usually based off whatever mood I’m in. I may want something quick and fun to read or I may be ready to get invested and lose a piece of my soul in some new series.

Antonia- Like Amanda, it mostly depends on my mood. I think more often than not it’s the book I’ve been thinking about longest or the new book I’ve been waiting for. Usually when I can’t decide between a bunch I’ll read the synopsis of each (even if I’ve read it a million times) and that’s how I figure out what I’m in the mood for.

You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it, do you quit or are you committed? 

Amanda- I’m committed. I’m not someone that is capable of not finishing a book unless I’m less than fifty pages into the book. This recently happened to me with The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (check out my review here) I finished the entire book and still really just didn’t love it. But the person that I am, I still read the second book, The Heart Forger (review here), and I ended up really enjoying it. I’m excited for the third to come out. So, yeah, I have to finish a book once I’m halfway because I’m pretty invested, even if I finish it and don’t like it, that’s okay.

Antonia- I’m not afraid to DNF but I try not to. Like Amanda, I’ve definitely read books I didn’t like but loved the rest of the series so I always try to keep that in mind when I don’t like something. I really only DNF when I either REALLY hate the main character or dislike the writing style so much that I have to keep rereading sentences because I can’t stay focused.

The end of the year is coming and you’re so close, yet still so far away from your reading goal on GoodReads. Do you try to catch up and how? 

Amanda- Wow, I love this book tag. This literally happened to me New Years Eve ’17. I spent half the night reading (even though I was at a friends house with a big group of my friends) because I needed to try to make it to 300 books for the year. I finished a book that night but only made it to 299 books for the year. Better luck next year I guess.

Antonia- It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to reach my yearly goals so I don’t worry about it too much anymore. I usually have so much going on in December that it’s unfortunately not very high on my list.

The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope? 

Amanda- Depending on the series I will not care or I will buy more copies of said books to make sure I have a matching set. For example, I own every book in the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich but I’ve bought them slowly over the years from yard sales and library sales and a few new hardcovers here and there – so not one book in this series matches. But my favorite series A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas all have to be the same or I will lose my mind. It would bother me so much that I didn’t have a matching series (I do though, so it’s fine.)

Antonia- It’s definitely an unpopular opinion but I really don’t care. Sure it’s nice when they look all pretty stacked together but that frequently means having to buy hardcover copies and that means less money for other books.

Everyone and their mother really loves a book that you really didn’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? 

Amanda- Antonia, duh. Mostly because she doesn’t read half of the books that I do. We both read our own kinds of books, so generally if I’m reading something popular that everyone loves (in certain genres) she hasn’t read it and I can complain to her. But I mean, I can complain to her even if she read it and liked it. So, Antonia is my answer regardless of what book it is.

Antonia- Amanda, duh. For literally the same reasons.

You’re reading a book in public and it’s going to make you cry. How do you deal? 

Amanda- I’m okay with that. I’m one of those crazy bookworms that you may see in public hysterically laughing at whatever is in my book. The same goes for crying. If the book’s going to make me cry, it doesn’t matter where I am.

Antonia- Unlike Amanda I really don’t like crying in public so I’ll usually just take a few deep breaths and hold back the tears or if that’s not possible, I’ll put the book away.

A sequel of a book you love just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot from the prior novel. Will you reread the book? Skip the sequel? Try to find a synopsis on GoodReads? Just cry in frustration?!

Amanda- I will reread the book. This is another real-life situation for me. I’m actually doing this now. I’m reading Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima (which I reviewed here when it came out a few years ago.) So even though I read and reviewed it, I know I’ve forgotten important details. So I’m going to reread it along with the second book, Shadowcaster, now that the third has recently been released.

Antonia- Definitely reread. I love rereading books. If it’s been recently enough that I remember a lot of it then I might find a summary and that’ll help me remember the rest.

You do not want anyone, ANYONE, borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people no when they ask? 

Amanda- This is actually really easy when you don’t have any friends (HAH, it’s true though.) And the friends I do have live hundreds of miles away from me. Also any friends that live close don’t read or aren’t comfortable asking to borrow my books (because I’m smart enough to not offer for them to borrow, which is something I used to stupidly do all the time.)

Antonia- I also don’t have friends so there’s no one to ask me. The few people I’m close to who read (like Amanda, husband, mom, sister) I know are trustworthy with books and will give them back. Anyone else I usually just make up some excuse not to.

Reading ADD, you’ve picked up and put down five books in the last month. How do you get out of your reading slump? 

Amanda- When this happens to me I tend to pick one of my go-to authors that write easy, fun, lighthearted books. This happened to me a few weeks ago and I got out of the slump by reading Come Sundown by Nora Roberts (reviewed here) and it was a quick read that got me out of my slump. Janet Evanovich, Linsay Sands, and Susan Elizabeth Phillips are other authors that I can read their books any time, but especially when I find myself in a slump.

Antonia- Again, my answer is very similar to Amanda’s. (Are we the same person?) Nora Roberts is always my go to when I can’t get into any books because I’ve literally never had that problem with any of her books (and I’ve read at least a hundred of them).

There are so many new books coming out that you’re dying to read! How many do you actually buy?

Amanda- All of them. What kind of question is this?

Antonia- I wish I could say all of them. Unfortunately money’s often an issue for me. I’ll buy the 2 or 3 that I can’t live without then either wait for the others or try to find them at the library.

After you’ve bought all of the new books that you can’t wait to get to, how long do they sit on your shelf before you read them? 

Amanda- Um…About this. A long time. But only because I have to reread some books before I can get to the new ones. And because more new books keep coming out and I have to get to those too and read some of them first.

Antonia- I’ve gotten better about this since I don’t often buy a ton at one time but occasionally one still waits for too long.

 

Okay, so we had a ton of fun with this Reader’s Problems Book Tag, mostly because many of these are real struggles we face as bookworms. So if you’re reading this and think it sounds fun, consider yourself tagged!

Book Tag – MidYear Freak Out

We were tagged to do this book tag by our bookish friend over at Books and Rainy Days. Go check their blog out to see some great bookish posts! Let’s dive right into this week’s book tag –

Best book you’ve read so far in 2018 – 

Amanda: This is hard. I don’t like to pick stuff like this because I love so many books. So I’m going to list a few that I really really liked and have stuck with me.

Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova 
The Paper Magician Series by Charlie N. Holmberg
The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

Antonia: Beheld by Alex Flinn. This one was easy because 1. This book was amazing and 2. I’ve only read two books so far this year that weren’t part of a series. See my review of this book here.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018 – 

Amanda: Okay, so I’m going to pick one where I started the series before this year for this one instead of a series I read all the way through. I’m going to go with Hell in a Handbasket by Denise Grover Swank (even though I really want to pick A Court of Frost and Starlight I don’t think it counts because it’s technically a novella.)

Antonia: I’ve read some really great sequels this year but I think I have to choose Blade of Empire by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. It exceeded all my expectations which, considering I waited seven years for this book to come out, I had a lot of.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to – 

Amanda: How am I supposed to pick just one with these questions?

The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth
War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison
Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

Let’s just make this easier for me. Why don’t you go to the “Upcoming Books” page on our blog and there’s a list of all the books that I’m looking forward to reading? If I haven’t reviewed it, then I haven’t read it yet.

Antonia: I agree with Amanda; just take a look at our “Upcoming Books”. I think Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts is still top of my list though.

Most anticipated release for the second half of 2018 – 

Amanda: It’s 100% a completely equal tie between Hank Green’s An Absolutely Remarkable Thing and Cassandra Clare’s Queen of Air and Darkness.

Antonia: Hmm… I think if I had to choose it’d be between Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa and Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts. Nora’s pretty much automatic for me and Kagawa’s new book sounds like nothing I’ve ever read before.

Biggest disappointment – 

Amanda: This one is actually easy, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (reviewed here).

Antonia: I haven’t really been disappointed by any books so far this year. I think if I had to choose I’d pick The Wild Swans by K.M. Shea. She has a long list of fairy tale retellings; nothing I’d consider favorites but they were fun reads. This is the only one I didn’t like as much. I just found some of the characters a little annoying.

Biggest Surprise – 

Amanda: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. I think I’m choosing this one just because it wasn’t really what I expected and I was a bit surprised at the behavior of one specific character. Check out my review here to get a more detailed explanation of my thoughts on this book.

Antonia: The Dragon’s Gift series by Linsey Hall. I’m including all four sub-series of this for this question. I was not expecting to like these books as much as I did. They’re kind of amazing. You can check out my review here.

Favorite new author – 

Amanda: This is another hard one that I had to think about. I’m going to say Elise Kova. Her Air Awakens series was so incredible I will no doubt be reading anything else that she’s written that I can get my hands on.

Antonia: Either Linsey Hall or Agatha Christie. I really loved what I’ve read of theirs and can’t wait to read more.

Newest fictional crush – 

Amanda: Okay, so not really new, but a rekindled crush because I reread the series earlier this year, but the Darkling from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I love me some villain, and I’m not sorry about it.

Antonia: Definitely not a new crush but the only character this year that comes close is Percy Jackson from The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan. I love him so much.

Newest favorite character – 

Amanda: Hmm. Liana Castell from The Girl Who Dared series by Bella Forrest (reviewed here) The final book came out and I just still really love her and how much she’s grown throughout these books.

Antonia: I have to choose Ember from The Talon series by Julie Kagawa. She’s not technically a new character for me since I was introduced to her a few years ago. I didn’t love her back then but as I finished the series recently and saw all her character development, I really loved the person she became.

Book that made you cry – 

Amanda: This is an unfair question. I”m currently seven months pregnant and have been pregnant for the entirety of 2018 so pretty much everything makes me cry. But the most memorable crying sesh that I’ve had has to have been the one while I was reading the Air Awakens Series (it was a boxed set on my Kindle, so it was like reading one book) by Elise Kova. I sobbed for like an hour after a certain part. I think my husband thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan. The. Ending. Killed. Me. Annabeth and Percy finally get back together after Percy was kidnapped and now they’re stuck in Tartarus?! (Tartarus=Hell) Then Riordan made the dedication of the next book “To my wonderful readers: Sorry about that last cliff-hanger. Well, no, not really. HAHAHAHA. But seriously, I love you guys.” I am so done.

Book that made you happy – 

Amanda: Renegades by Marissa Meyer. Superheroes, duh.

Antonia: All of them? But I’ll pick Beheld by Alex Flinn since it’s the only one that gave me that happy bubbly feeling in my chest when I finished it.

Favorite book to movie adaptation this year – 

Amanda: I haven’t actually seen any of the book-to-movie adaptations that have been released this year. (I’m forever a year or two behind when it comes to movies.) So I’m going to choose the one I’m most excited to see which is, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, but also Fahrenheit 451.

Antonia: I also don’t keep up with new movie releases. The closest answer I have would be The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I haven’t actually read this yet but I’d like to and the movie looks really good as well.

Favorite review you wrote this year – 

Amanda: I’m going to say all four reviews that I wrote for the four books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas because this is one of my all time favorite series and I’m excited to have all four books reviewed and posted on the blog. (A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and A Court of Frost and Starlight)

Antonia: I have to choose Beheld by Alex Flinn (review). I just really enjoyed reading the book AND writing the review.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought this year – 

Amanda: The Bone Witch & The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco both have absolutely gorgeous book covers, which yes, is part of the reason I bought them.

Antonia: The Talon series by Julie Kagawa. I love these covers so much.

What books do you NEED to read before the end of the year – 

Amanda: Can I just refer you to our “Upcoming Books” page again?

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard
The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead
Impostors by Scott Westerfeld
Wind Rider by P.C. Cast
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

I could keep going, but like I said, they’re all listed and if I haven’t posted a review it means I still need to read it.

Antonia: This one’s particularly hard for me because pretty much everything I read is based entirely on my mood at the time. Maybe Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. I’ve been wanting to read this series for forever but somehow never got to it. Amanda and I were talking about it the other day and it’s made me want to finally read them. I already have books one and two sitting on my shelf.

We’re going to tag Danielle over at YA Allegiance. We hope you have as much fun (we’re lying this one was hard because we love so many books.) as we did with this post. Can’t wait to see what you choose for these questions.

Anyone else reading this that thinks it would be fun to do, consider yourself tagged and feel free to tag us in your post.

Book Tag – The Ultimate 25 Bookish Questions

Happy Saturday bookworms!

Welcome to our second book tag post! Last week’s was just so fun that when I saw this one I knew Antonia and I had to do it together. I found this book tag in my reader, Alana over at The Bookish Chick posted it and it looked like fun. Thanks for posting Alana!

So here goes!

Do you get sick while reading in the car? 

Amanda- No, thank god. I wouldn’t have survived my childhood if I had motion sickness (like my brother does). Books were the only thing that kept me sane on family road trips and vacations.

Antonia- Usually only if I’m in the backseat. It can be pretty random though, long car rides when it’s raining and mercury is in retrograde. There’s not really any rhyme or reason to it, but sometimes I get car sick and sometimes I don’t.

Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why? 

Amanda- I’m going to say Ellen Hopkins just because the way she writes her books is so unique and I’ve never seen any other books (aside from poetry) written the way she has them set up. Also, the topics she writes about are hard and serious topics that need to be discussed more.

Antonia- Patrick Rothfuss because the books are narrated by the main character as if they’re talking to you and telling you their story. He also uses a really good mix of descriptive writing and does a great job of showing us what’s happening instead of just telling us.

Harry Potter Series or Twilight Saga? Give three reasons to defend your answer.  

Amanda- Harry Potter (nothing against Twilight though because I was a huge fan before those horrible movies came out)

  1. Hogwarts, who doesn’t want to go to school there?
  2. Wizards, who doesn’t want to be a magical witch or wizard?
  3. I read the Harry Potter books first and loved them first, so they hold first place in my heart. (Sorry Twilight.)

Antonia- Harry Potter (said with a duh tone of voice.)

  1. The Twilight movie
  2. Magic is my favorite and I’d love to be a witch.
  3. I just love the Harry Potter world that Rowling created better than what’s in the Twilight books. It’s so well planned and thought out and it’s become a place that millions of people dream of going to.

Do you carry a bookbag? If so, what’s in it (besides books)?

Amanda- Okay, so I carry a small backpack as a purse. I’ve hated carrying “shoulder purses” for years now, so I stick with mini(ish) backpacks, but I wouldn’t consider it a bookbag. I always have either my Kindle or whatever I’m currently reading (sometimes both), my mascara and some lipstick for when I need to feel fabulous at a moments notice, about a hundred lip balms because I’m addicted to buying them, all the pens of life (I’m actually a pen thief so watch out), my wallet, keys, sunglasses and whatever miscellaneous junk rolls around at the bottom.

Antonia- No, I just carry a purse. I don’t really even put books in my purse anymore because half the time they don’t even fit so I just carry them.

Do you smell your books?

Amanda- I’m sorry, are there people that don’t smell their books?

Antonia- Of course, what kind of bookworm doesn’t smell their books?

Books with or without little illustrations? 

Amanda- Only if they’re significant to the story. If they’re just random little drawings then I don’t care, but I do enjoy when the illustrations add to the story.

Antonia- I enjoy them because I think it adds a little something and helps me picture what’s going on a little better.

What book did you love while reading but discovered later that it wasn’t quality writing? (We’re just going to mention books that we outgrew, who are we to say what’s good writing or bad writing.)

Amanda- I’m thinking the House of Night by P.C. & Kristen Cast. I’d say I outgrew these, mostly because I never even finished the series and I don’t know that I have any interest in ever doing so.

Antonia- I definitely outgrew Twilight by Stephenie Meyer because of a combination of the movies being awful and just growing up in general. I still have fond memories of the books (I mean they kind of started my friendship with Amanda,) but I could never read them again.

Do you have any funny stories from your childhood involving books? Please share!

Amanda- This is super not funny (though my siblings will say differently) but my step sister and my older brother used to steal my books while I was reading them to make me chase them around to get my book back. They did this because they wanted me to play with them and I wanted to read. It was not funny and actually traumatizing, but I’m sure they would tell you it was hilarious.

Antonia- So I totally convinced my mom to let me have Christmas lights in my room because I “didn’t like the dark” but in reality, it was so that I could read past my bedtime without anyone seeing light from my flashlight under my door. And if someone came to check on me I could just slip my book under the covers and pretend I was sleeping.

What is the tiniest book on your shelf?

Amanda- It’s between The Alchemist by Paul Coelho and The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I could get up and actually check the page count, but I’m lazy so I’m not going to. I could also probably google it too but I’m not going to do that either.

Antonia- The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. 

What is the thickest book on your shelf? 

Amanda- It’s tied between Cassandra Clare’s two books Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows. They’re both around the same size and that size is giant.

Antonia- Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon. 

Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself being an author in the future?

Amanda- That’s the goal. I’m actually in the middle of writing two stories at the moment, one short story and one (hopefully) novel. I have a few short stories and half-finished novels already along with tons of ideas that have yet to make it to paper.

Antonia- Yes, that would be lovely, if I could ever finish writing a book.

When did you get into reading?

Amanda- When I would go to visit my mother for the weekend. I would spend the whole time reading with my Nana and Great Aunt because that’s all I’d ever see them doing, so I wanted to see why. I started with  The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johanson and haven’t stopped reading since.

Antonia- I don’t remember a time that I didn’t love books.

What is your favorite classic book? 

Amanda- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis, mostly because I don’t read many classics but I read these as a kid.

Antonia- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Duman

In school, what was your best subject?

Amanda- English, duh.

Antonia- Math.

If you were given a book that you had read before and hated as a present, what would you do? 

Amanda- I don’t think this would happen to me because people don’t buy me physical books unless I tell them a specific book I want. But if it did, I would probably be honest and say that I’d already read and that I didn’t love it. (I would be nice and wouldn’t say it was garbage or anything.)

Antonia- It would depend on who gave it to me. If it was Amanda or my mom I would be honest and say that I’d read it and it was awful. But if it was my MIL or something, I’d probably awkwardly thank her and keep it, maybe eventually donate it.

What is a lesser known series that you have read that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games? 

Amanda- The Secret of Spellshadow Manor by Bella Forrest is a series about kids with magic (though a different sort of magic from those in Harry Potter) who all go to this school together that the rest of the regular world doesn’t know about it. I actually loved these books, so read them (ahem, Antonia.)

Antonia- The Valkyrie Series by Linsey Hall is the only series I can think of that can even come close to being okay for this question. Everything else I’ve read that’s similar to either series is super well known. So, here you go magic school (kind of.)

What is a bad habit you always do while blogging?

Amanda- Once I’m blogging I’m fine, but I’m forever procrastinating everything. So not blogging is my bad habit?

Antonia- Getting distracted by the internet.

What is your favorite word?

Amanda- Befuddled.

Antonia- Ostentatious.

Are you a nerd, dork or dweeb? Or all of the above? 

Amanda- Nerd, more specifically a book-nerd. If you’re going to call me names, at least use the right one.

Antonia- NERD. (Nerd Camp forever.)

Vampires or Faeries? Why?

Amanda- Faeries, How can I not choose faeries when I have so much love for Rhysand from ACOTAR. They’re just way cooler (and I’m not sorry for saying that.)

Antonia- Faeries, they usually have more magic and also their own special realms. Vampires mostly just hang out in the real world and kill stuff or sparkle.

Shapeshifters or Angels? Why? 

Amanda- Shapeshifters mostly because the books I read with angels in them are usually fallen angels, so regular angels seem pretty lame in comparison.

Antonia- Shapeshifters because of the variety of what they can do. Angels are just angels but shapeshifters can be anything.

Spirits or Werewolves? Why? 

Amanda- Spirits. Love me some ghosts man. Just think of the stories they have? Plus werewolves always want to eat people or have to struggle to refrain from eating people.

Antonia- Neither? I don’t hate either, but they’re certainly not go-to topics for me.

Zombies or Vampires? Why?

Amanda- Vampires because zombies pretty much terrify me.

Antonia- Vampires because they’re not always soulless monsters whereas zombies legit don’t have brains so they can’t exactly make interesting characters.

Love Triangle or Forbidden Love? Why? 

Amanda- Forbidden love. I feel like stories with forbidden love just have more to them. The stories more interesting and has more depth. The love triangle has been totally overdone and is just annoying.

Antonia- Forbidden love because I’m so so sick of love triangles.

Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Amanda- Both. I love me some sappy mushy sexy romance novels, but I also really love seeing characters kick butt and save the world.

Antonia- Also both, it depends on what I’m in the mood for. Sometimes I love super sappy love stories and sometimes I like more fighting and action and suspense.

 

That’s all the questions we have today! I hope you had as much fun reading this as we did writing it. Feel free to tag us if you choose to participate in this book tag!

Amanda & Antonia.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Summary:
Live life in a bubble…
Or risk everything for love?
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean, and wearing all black-black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I, Maddy, am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

everything everything
Review:
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon was an expected read for me. I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I checked it out from the library a few days ago, mostly because I’ve heard all the hype about it and I wanted to read it before I eventually watch the movie. Also, my sister read the book and she really liked it, which means a lot because neither of my sisters read very much. So I went into this read not really expecting all that much, maybe a quick fun love story about a sick girl. Boy was I wrong. This book surprised me in so many ways.
The first surprise was how much I genuinely liked our main character, Maddy. She has this innocence about her (likely because she’s never really left her house or interacted with anyone other than her mother and her nurse) that just was surprising but also super realistic. I learned by reading the pages in the back of the book that the author, Yoon, used a few situations from her very young daughter to portray that innocence in Maddy. It was very well done. Because of this innocence, I wanted to love and snuggle and protect Maddy forever, so when the new family next door includes an attractive boy the same age, I knew it wasn’t going to end well. With that said, Maddy also knew it wasn’t going to end well. She even tells herself that she’s not going to talk to him anymore, a couple times, because she knows she will just get hurt. But you can’t fight that forbidden love. Also, the main character that likes to read and write book reviews, c’mon, are you going to find a bookworm anywhere that doesn’t love this trope?
I thought the story was going to be just that, forbidden love and how the two fall in love anyway and it either kills Maddy or breaks her heart. I certainly did NOT expect what actually happened. The plot twist in this book was absolutely insane, but also incredibly written. There weren’t any hints that it was coming that I noticed. Everything, Everything started off sweet and innocent like a typical YA love story, but took a turn to pretty dark a bit over halfway through which I think is what made me like this book so much. I really love books that can surprise me and that’s exactly what Yoon did with this novel.
The secondary characters were also great. The main players were Maddy’s Mom, her nurse, Carla and of course, Olly. I loved the relationship between Maddy and her mom (for most of the book anyway), probably because it’s the relationship I always wished for with my own mother. They play board games together and actually talk about everything. I feel really bad for Maddy’s mom for a bit once Maddy starts talking to Olly because Maddy really neglects her relationship with her mom. She cancels movie nights and starts telling lies, it just didn’t sit well with me until our plot twist. I absolutely adore Carla. She’s the actual best. She lets Maddy get away with things that her mother wouldn’t because she wants to make sure Maddy is safe. You can just tell how much Carla really loves Maddy and I really enjoyed reading about their relationship.
Now, the main event, Olly. The handsome boy next door. I loved getting to know Olly. His back and forth banter with Maddy had me laughing out loud (which was bad because I read this book in bed after my husband went to sleep and I almost woke him up a few times.) He’s just so real and genuine toward her and it warmed my little heart. I think a part of this was that I loved Maddy so much and she so deserves to be loved. Olly just seemed like an all-around good guy. He wanted to make sure that Maddy was okay all the time. He would push the boundaries a little bit, but never too much. He actually communicated with her, which was nice to see instead of a broody macho man (which I like sometimes, but not for this book.) They were just a really good couple, they complimented one another and I’m glad they got their happy ending.
Everything, Everything has little illustrations throughout the story. I thought these were a really nice touch. They just added a little extra to the story. I also thought it was super sweet once I found out that it was Yoon’s husband that drew all of the illustrations and that she used to wake him up in the middle of the night to draw things when she was inspired. It just added something special to the story.
Overall, I liked this book so much more than I thought I was going to. Like, I read it in four hours last night before bed, the book was just that good and I couldn’t stop. These characters that wormed their way into my heart got their happy ending, but not in that annoying “and everyone lived happily ever after” kind of way. It was real and made sense. Maddy got what she wanted, but not without needed to work through some things. I just liked that the book didn’t end with a little bow that tied everything up. The characters were flawed and they had just learned how flawed they really were and how much work they’d need to put in to work on those flaws. But they were all moving forward despite their flaws and struggles. I could go on and on, so I’m going to stop here. If you haven’t read this book because you’re like me and are sometimes hesitant to read the hyped up books, then get over it and read this. You won’t regret it, I swear.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary:
A lifelong war.
Alyssa ana’Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of the Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn’t pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.
A life in peril.
Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for his king since he was a lytling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.
The shadow of defeat.
Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series, this is a thrilling story of unfathomable costs of war, the allure of dark magic, and two principled and conflicted characters drawn together despite everything they stand to lose.
Review:
This is the second book in Cinda Williams Chima’s Shattered Realms series. I reviewed the first book, Flamecaster here. In this book, we follow another member of the royal family of the Fellisian queendom, the heir to the throne, Lyss. I really enjoyed following Lyss in this story. She’s a character that I really enjoyed watching develop. At the beginning of the story she’s a young girl who’s just lost her sister and with that has become the new heir to the throne. We get to see into her relationship with her brother, Ash – who is the sibling that we follow in Flamecaster. She’s confiding in him about how she’s not ready to be queen and she doesn’t think that she’s the right person for this responsibility. He promises her that he will always be there for her and that she’s not alone with this new responsibility. And then he abandons her because of his own issues. Lyss is a girl that has been dealt the worst hand, over and over again. It only makes her stronger. Lyss takes all of her struggles and turns it into strength, into determination, into motivation to be the best she can for her people. It’s clear that she cares deeply about her friends and fellow soldiers – she’s a captain of her own special ‘Grey Wolf Squad’ that we learn is more like a little family. The members of the Grey Wolves care about each other and do what they need to in order to look out for one another. It’s clear that Alyssa is going to be a great leader regardless of all of the doubts she has about herself. We get to see these doubts and insecurities come out when Lyss is around her cousin Julianna. Julianna is the girl that I think Lyss sees that Julianna is excelling at all of the political and diplomatic things that Lyss is most insecure about.
There are so many things I like about this story. One of them is the timeline. This second book is happening partially at the same time as the first. So we get to see more details into events that we heard happening in the first book, but we get to read about how these important events happened. I thought it was cool that we got to see both siblings on both sides of the world both playing huge roles in their quickly changing world. Getting to see the two stories meet up and the characters come together was a nice touch. I liked how Chima did this, it was really well written. Everything just fits together nicely. The pace of the story (and series) was great. There was an ample amount of suspense but done the right way. It’s not too much or too little. We’re left wanting more, but not overwhelmed with questions. All of the characters necessary to the story are introduced slowly which I like because we really get to know them. They may be secondary characters, but they’re real and they’re fully developed because we’re not overwhelmed with characters and Chima took the time to really get into each one. I’m anxious to see the characters all meet and to see who else we will meet in the third book and beyond.
Jenna is one of the characters that we met in the first book. We only get to see bits and pieces of what she’s up to in this book, but I loved what we did get to see. We get more into her relationship with Cas which had me laughing the whole time. I absolutely adore Cas and everything about him. He has his own personality and it just cracks me up. I love the relationship between these two and I’m excited to see more of it in the next book. Jenna is a girl I really love. She always tries to do the right thing, even if it’s something that’s a risk to her own well being. She’s got great instincts and seems to know just the right time to get out of any given situation. She’s the first we meet with the magemark. The next is Breon. A very interesting guy. A character I’m not totally sure how to feel about. He’s one giant mystery. We learn just enough about him to know that he’s a good guy deep down inside, even though he mostly hangs around the wrong kind of people. Bree is surrounded by mystery and I really can’t wait to read more about him in the next book. There are so many unanswered questions with him. Why can’t he remember anything before he was ten? Where did his ability to sing someone’s song come from? What does this have to do with the magemarks? Also, an interesting aspect of the story is Bree’s addiction. He smokes a plant that they refer to as ‘leaf’. I liked this aspect because it made Bree flawed. It was really refreshing to have a character so flawed. He’s a character that has issues that he needs to work on. I’m anxious to see where these magemarked characters will take us in the rest of the series.
My favorite character in this book was Halston Matelon. Hal is the mirror of Lyss, minus the royalty part. He’s a part of Arden’s army and just trying to do his best for a country that he knows isn’t the best. He’s a man with honor. He wants to do the right thing, but he’s conflicted because the right thing and his orders aren’t always in line. There’s a great dynamic between him and Lyss. They’re both leaders, just on opposite sides of the war. Hal knowledge is full of misconceptions; misconceptions about the royal women of the Fells, misconceptions about Lyss and who he thinks she’s involved with, and misconceptions about northerners in general. Because of these, we got to see his thought process change once he was faced with the truth. It was fascinating to follow the character development for Hal. I also got a kick out of Hal’s internal conversation. He’s always talking to himself internally. It’s sometimes hilarious, especially when he’s thinking about Lyss. He compares her to a wolf for most of the book not knowing that she is the heir to the grey wolf throne. He also is forever talking about how he’s never met a woman like Lyss and it really just emphasizes the cultural differences between Arden and the Fells, specifically their women. I could go on and on about Hal, but I’ll stop here.
There were a few little things that I didn’t like about this book. One of them is that we didn’t see Ash, not even once, so we’re left wondering what’s happening with him the whole time. Another thing, at the beginning of the book Lyss is about eleven years old talking to her brother and then suddenly we’re four years into the future. Then a chapter or two later we do another time jump of a few months, it’s just off and a little bit confusing but it only happened in the beginning and not again after these two times. There were way more things that I liked about Shadowcaster than disliked. Chima is an incredible world builder. I love this book because we get to see even more of the Seven Realms, from Delphi to the heart of Arden, we get to travel all over in this series and it’s incredible to see more of this place. I’m excited to read the third book and the others when they are published so that we can explore the realms further. I have a feeling we’re going to get to explore the southern islands and I’m very intrigued to see them. Chima also creates amazing characters. They’re real and relatable to the reader, but also to one another. They’re a generation of kids that were all forced to grow up too soon because of this ridiculous war.
Overall, I loved this book (can you tell?) and I can’t wait to read the third one, Stormcaster. This book is great for anyone that likes fantasy, especially those who like a strong female lead.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Summary:
Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by pure luck. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude?
As a young Irish immigrant, Vivian Daly was one such child, sent by rail from New York City to an uncertain future a world away. Returning east later in life, Vivian leads a quiet, peaceful existence on the coast of Maine, the memories of her upbringing rendered a hazy blur. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past.
Seventeen-year-old Molly Ayer knows that a community-service position helping an elderly widow clean out her attic is the only thing keeping her out of juvenile hall. But as Molly helps Vivian sort through her keepsakes and possessions, she discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they appear. A Penobscot Indian who has spent her youth in and out of foster homes, Molly is also an outside being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past.
Moving between contemporary Maine and Depression-era Minnesota, Orphan Train is a powerful tale of upheaval and resilience, second chances, and unexpected friendship.

Review:
I was given this book by my Aunt (when I say given I mean that she sent me home with a book stack like five books tall and I wasn’t really given a choice or opinion about it) to borrow because it really left an impression on her. I’m really glad she gave me no choice in borrowing this book because I have many feelings about it. It’s not a book that I would generally choose for myself to read. It’s a super serious book and I tend to stick to fun, lighter topics or books that have deeper meanings. I really enjoyed this story though, it was eye opening and heart wrenching and made me feel all of the emotions.
Orphan Train is the story of a young girl that’s been screwed again and again by the foster system. She’s with yet another set of foster parents, one that wanted her and one that agreed to make her husband happy and she never lets Molly forget it. Molly’s foster mother is a bitch. There’s no other way to say it. She’s unnecessarily mean and goes out of her way to make life harder for Molly. With her foster father as the middleman that never really picks a side between Molly and his wife, he just hopes they’ll work it out. His lack of any sort of intervention is really frustrating to me since he’s the one that wanted to foster Molly in the first place. Enough about them, they suck.
Molly is a girl I could get along with. She’s been through a lot in the short amount of years she’s been alive. Regardless of all of that, she has a pretty good attitude. She tries to maintain a ‘whatever’ attitude as if she doesn’t care about anything, but we get to see her crack and actually let herself care about people in her life (but not her foster parents because they suck). It was really nice to see Molly come out of her shell once she meets Vivian, our other main character. Vivian is a very interesting character because we meet her at the end of her life. We see that she’s made something for herself. She’s a wealthy widow that lives in a big beautiful house. Going from knowing her in this part of her life to learning about the struggles of her childhood was interesting. I liked it because reading about all of the complicated (sometimes horrible) things that Vivian endured was hard, but we already knew that it got better because of her situation in the present day. Reading Vivan’s story was honestly hard. She endures so much, so many traumatizing and horrible things for a girl so young, but through all of it she doesn’t give up. If I were her, I would have just given up on everything, but she doesn’t. She kept moving forward, looking at the positive things like friends she’s made and getting to go to school until eventually, life gets better. I enjoyed getting to see what made Vivian into the person that she is today.
My favorite thing about this story was probably the way that it’s written. Orphan Train is written with two alternating perspectives. The first perspective is the present day where we get to follow Molly as she meets Vivian. They connect and learn how alike they really are. The second point of view is Vivian’s life as she’s telling her story to Molly. I thought it was written really well in a thought-provoking way. The alternating perspectives gave us just enough information to see the similarities between these two orphans despite the different time periods they grew up in. I really enjoyed that it’s written in a way to set up to compare and contrast the orphan experience with a then and now kind of effect.
Overall I really enjoyed this story of two independent but strong women who learn to accept the help of those who care about them, even though they don’t want to. I appreciate that they both learned so much about themselves through the stories of each other. Finally, I love that even though Molly and Vivian both went through some series struggles, they came out on top and got their own happy ending (of sorts.)

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!