Amanda’s Favorite Graphic Novels of 2019

Heyyy, lovelies! Today’s list, as you can see from the title is my favorite graphic novels that I read in 2019. I read my first ever graphic novels this year, so this is a list I’ve never been able to make before. This list is in no particular order, just a list of the graphic novels I loved this year.

Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savannah Ganucheau

This was so sweet and wholesome. I will love my bakery boys forever and ever.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Witchy and gay. What more could a girl ask for?

Kaijumax Season One: Terror and Respect by Zander Cannon

I adored the monsters in this story. I recently bought the second volume and plan to pick it up in early 2020.

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo

I loved the art and Raven’s backstory. I seriously cannot wait for the next book they come out with for Beast Boy.

Spell on Wheels by Kath Leth & Megan Levens

This was so fun. And perfect for the spooky season. I loved the friendship, the art, and the story.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

This one had my heart so full. I loved the art and the colors. The story was so sweet and wholesome and I loved everything about it.

Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Hockey is one of the things that brought my husband and I together in high school, so I love all things related to hockey. This was no different except my love was only amplified by Bitty’s love for baking pies.

The Wicked + The Divine: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson

This was an impulse buy when I was at my local comic store. I am so glad I did. I adored this. The twist on the Gods and the darkness were everything I never knew I needed.

The Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld & Alex Puvilland

I love Westerfeld in general. After hearing him talk about the process of writing this story, I wanted to read it. I’m glad I did becasue I loved it. The images and colors were stunning and the story was captivating and mysterious.

So, that’s all I have for you today. My 2019 favorites, graphic novel edition. Leave me a comment with your favorites from last year! I’m always looking for  new graphic novels to read, so please spam me with recommendations.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

GoodReads Summary:
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.
Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.
All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.
As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.
Tweet CuteReview:
I loved literally everything about this book. Tweet Cute was so adorable and funny and heartwarming. I have to give a huge thank you to Meghan Harrington with Wednesday Books for reaching out to be a part of the blog tour for this book. I’m so happy to be a part of the team shouting about this book!
Pepper is a girl with tons of parental pressure. The pressure to help run her family’s corporate Twitter (even though they literally have an employee that’s supposed to do it) and get good grades on top of that at her elite prep school. She also runs a baking blog with her sister (so yes, I will be trying to make one of their creations for an installment of Books & Baking.) Her desserts sound so freaking yummy.
Then there’s Jack, living in his twin brother’s shadow. He spends his time either diving with the school’s team or working at his parent’s restaurant. So, when he sees that Big League Burger has released a new grilled cheese that even has the same name as the one his parent’s restaurant, Girl Cheesing, is known for, he tweets from the Girl Cheesing account. It’s the tweet that launches a twitter war between the two.
I loved the banter between the two twitters. But even more, I loved the banter between Pepper and Jack. I’m one million percent team PepperJack forever. I really appreciated that Pepper wasn’t really comfortable with the whole thing and acknowledged that to her mom, though her mom pressured her to continue tweeting anyway. I thought it was great that once Jack found out that it was Pepper on the other side of the Big League Burger tweets they made it into a fun sort of game.
There was so much I loved about this. The baking, the banter, and the realizations. The development of the characters as individuals was so well done. They learn more about themselves, they talk with their parents and learn more about them, and they develop together as well. I thought it was all just done so well. I will be shouting about this book from the rooftops for the foreseeable future. So, just do me a favor and read it as soon as it is released.

Quotes:

“But sometimes even shouting into a void feels better than just staring into it.”

“It’s weird, how you have no idea how far you’ve come until suddenly you can’t find your way back.”

“Do you ever feel like someone just took something from you?” Yes, I want to say. Sometimes it feels like it’s been four years of this place taking and taking, and I’m all out of pieces to give—like I don’t even know the shape of myself anymore.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez

GoodReads Summary:
Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are condensed into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her; all she has left is work. Alone and adrift, she lives only for the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky.
A boy, broken by his past.
The scarred child does not speak, his only form of communication the beautiful and haunting music he plays on an old wooden flute. Captured by his songs and their strange, immediate connection, Nia decides to take the boy in. And over years of starlit travel, these two outsiders discover in each other the things they lack. For him, a home, a place of love and safety. For her, an anchor to the world outside of herself.
For both of them, a family.
But Nia is not the only one who wants the boy. The past hungers for him, and when it catches up, it threatens to tear this makeshift family apart.
The Vanished BirdsReview:
To start off this review I have to send a thank you in the direction of NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Now, to gather all my thoughts in one place regarding The Vanished Birds. This book was a pretty wild ride. As with most books, there were things I liked and things that I did not. Let’s start with what I liked.
I liked that the plot was brought back around to relate to the things introduced at the beginning of the story. I was about halfway through and wondering what the point of the first chapter or so, but it all came together in the end in a very skillful way. I also really adored the found family aspect of the story. There were a few different dynamics, but I eventually grew to love all of them. So much happens in this book that I’m really not even sure how to get into the details of it, so I’m just not going to. I think the characters were all very well developed and I cared about them all, even the terrible ones. Realistic and compelling characters is something the author did very well.
Now, I didn’t love that the beginning jumped around with all of the different people we need to meet. The book starts off with a, for lack of a better word, primitive society. We follow a boy as he grows into a man and then an elder of his community. We see him develop a relationship with someone who visits his people once every fifteen years. This part I really enjoyed, especially because it clearly related to the rest of the story. We meet the boy in these chapters and he is handed from the man we saw age to Nia, the space traveler. But then, suddenly the next chapter is about someone completely new and many years in the past. This transition was very jarring. It’s something I can appreciate now having finished the book and seeing how this was brought full circle with the rest of the story, but at the time I really didn’t care for it. This jarring transition happens again when we’re back with Nia and the boy, as they create a new space crew and the perspective becomes the writings of one of the new crew members. His writings are full of completely unneeded details that I really didn’t see how they furthered the story. I liked this character but several times found myself skimming to get back to the relevant parts. Despite these jarring transitions I found myself easily and very much invested in the characters and their adventures.
Overall. this wasn’t a perfect book, but it was one that I enjoyed. I found the characters likable and their mission exciting. I wouldn’t call it a quick read, but it was a story I devoured.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s 2019 Middle Grade Favorites

Hi, lovelies! As I said last week, I have lots of lists prepared for you this month. Today’s list is going to be my middle-grade favorites. I’ve been trying to expand the genres and age groups that I read and I successfully did that by reading a bunch of middle grade books this year. So, these are my favorite middle-grade books that I read in 2019.

1. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

2. The Battle of the Labirynth by Rick Riordan

3. Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

4. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

5. The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

I read probably ten middle grade books in 2019 and absolutely loved the five books that I listed aboce. Have you read any middle-grade this year that you adored? Leave a comment and let me know!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s 2019 Reading Statistics (Year End Wrap Up)

Hi, lovelies! I have to say thank you to my wonderful husband for this post because I could not for the life of me figure out how to make all these graphs and charts in excel and he helped me (and actually made quite a few of them.) So, I love the yearly stats posts because it’s so much fun to see what people read and how they read it. I’ve made quite a few charts and graphs, but I will be talking about each one below the graphic.

Monthly 2020

Let’s start with my monthly breakdown. Here I’ve laid out how many books I  read each month. I think it’s interesting to see the differences in each month. I can tell you that I read so many books in August because of the Magical Readathon that happens each August. December surprised me because I didn’t think I’d read so much. But I was trying to finish a  few series before the end of the year. What was your best/worst reading month of 2019?

Ratings 2020

Next, let’s talk star ratings. Before GoodReads, I didn’t care about rating books, but now that I actually use it to track what I’ve read and what I want to read I thought it would be interesting to track how many books I liked or didn’t. I would say I had a great reading year because more than half of the books I read were either four or five stars. I had an overall average of 4.03 which I think is great! Which star rating did you give out the most?

Format 2020.png

Last year, I  saw this chart on a few other yearly wrap up posts and I had only recently gotten into listening to audiobooks. So, I was already excited to see what mine would look like for 2019. I’m not surprised at all to see that I read mostly eBooks. That’s actually a reading goal of mine for 2020 is to try to read more physical books. Physical books are my preferred format. I’m hoping to only read eBooks at night before bed, instead of whenever time allows. Which format did you read the most of this year?

Library : Owned 2020.png

Another interesting statistic I  was excited to see was the comparison of how many books I was reading from the library and how many I was reading that was from my physical collection. I mostly read books I owned, but I did borrow a few from the library, from friends, and used my Kindle Unlimited subscription. In 2020, I’d like to keep this close to the same because I have around 200 unread physical books that I already own and I want to focus on getting those read. Did you read books from the library or books you own?

ARC : FC 2020.png

Toward the end of 2018, I signed up for NetGalley. I try really hard not to go wild requesting ARCs and only request ones by authors I already know of or books I’ve heard about already. I think this chart shows that I was pretty successful in that goal. I know the numbers aren’t shown, but the grey slice is only around 30 books. I’m really happy about that and plan to keep it right around the same in 2020. Did you read any ARCs in 2019?

Pub Year 2020.png

I thought it would be really interesting to see the difference in the publication years of all the books I read in 2019. This is a good way to see how many new releases I read compared to backlist books. It’s clear in this graph that I read mostly newer releases. This is interesting to me and makes it clear that in 2020 I should aim to focus on the backlist books that I already own, rather than getting caught up with all the new releases that I’m looking forward too. Did you read more new releases or backlist books?

Pages 2020.png

Next, we have page numbers. I love seeing the visuals of the books I read last year. This shows me that I read mostly shorter books with a few longer ones mixed in there too. These results were not unexpected as I read a fair bit of contemporary and romance books in 2019.

Series : Standalone 2020.png

I also kept track of whether each  book I read was a part of a series or a standalone (and then a few short story collections that didn’t really fit either). This chart was a bit surprising to me because I could have sworn that I read way more standalones than I did series. Though, I am happy about this because I’m trying to finish all of the series that I’m in the middle of. That’s another goal of mine for 2020, to finish all the completely published series that I am still in the middle of.

Genre 2020.png

The genre comparison is the one I was the most excited to see. After making my stats post for 2018, I made a goal in 2019 to attempt to read more genres. I didn’t want to only read contemporary and fantasy. I think I did better compared to last year but will continue to try to purposefully read more varying genres. What genre did you read the most in 2019?

Age Range 2020.png

While making the genre chart, I wanted to see the difference in age ranges. I knew I’d read mostly YA but I wanted to see what the numbers looked like visually. I’m pretty happy with these results. I’m planning to make a point to read more books outside of YA and I think my other goals (reading backlist books and the books I already own) will align with this as well. Did you read mostly books for one age range?

So! These are all of the visuals I made for my 2019 reading statistics. I had a ton of fun making this post, even though it was honestly a huge pain in the butt to get all the graphics into this post. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did.

Did you make a  2019 wrap up like this one? How was 2019 for you and your reading goals? Leave a comment and let me know!

Keep on readinng lovelies, Amanda.

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Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

GoodReads Summary:
A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope.
Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.
For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them–and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them–the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unraveling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart–or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.
WanderersReview:
Where to even start with this review? So much happens in this book with so many different characters, because of that I’m not going to talk about specific characters too much.
I think this book was incredible. There were so many little things introduced in the beginning that managed to connect in the end. The mystery and suspense of the purpose of the Sleepwalkers was so well done. For a while, I wasn’t sure if it would be a scientific explanation or a magical one. This was interesting for me because I was reading another book of the same genre, at the same time that I was listening to the audiobook for this one. That book was more magical while this one was more science-based. I liked that there was a science behind what was happening.
I also really liked the combination of all the different characters. One was just an ordinary girl following her sleepwalker sister. There were really interesting plotlines for these two with their mom and dad. I loved Benji the CDC doctor. His insatiable desire to help and figure out what was going on was really compelling. But the most interesting character to me personally was Pastor Matthew. His story was the most complicated. He finds himself in over his head with a group of white supremacists. He tries to get out but instead becomes a prisoner and a tool to further their agenda. I thought this was the most interesting because I really hated Matthew for a large portion of this book, but by the end of it, I just felt bad for him and then I was proud of him for managing to do the right thing.
This book was full of political conversations. Military versus scientific intervention for the sleepwalkers. The presidential race between a woman and a man that is a huge bigot. What it means for the world to end and the things people will do when faced with that being the reality.
I don’t want to say I loved or enjoyed this book because it was wild and horrifying. But I did. I was engrossed in the story each time I started listening. I was dying to know what was going to happen, the secrets the characters were keeping from one another, and how things were going to play out. It was an incredible book full of hard topics and discussions. If you’re someone that likes dystopian books, this is one you might want to pick up.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s 19 Favorites of 2019

Hellllo, lovelies! It is officially 2020 meaning that this is the start of all of the ‘best of 2019’ bookish lists. Yes folks, I will be participating in that as well. I’m going to have this overall list of favorites be 19 for 2019, but I also have a few other lists up my sleeve. These books are in no particular order becasue I don’t want to have to  choose the order.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

How She Died, How I Lived by Mary Crockett

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

King of Fools by Amanda Foody

All Our Broken Pieces by L.D. Crichton

This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter

The Disasters by M.K. England

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman

The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake

The Toll by Neal Shusterman

Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

These are nineteen of my favorite books of 2019. I’ve linked all  their reviews for you’re reading pleasure, also to share why I loved these books. Link me your favorites lists so I can see what books you loved last year!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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