ABC Book Challenge |F|

Hi, Bookworms!

This week we will be talking about books with the letter F. For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This weeks letter is – F.

Most Memorable Books

Amanda

Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima (reviewed here) – I can not say enough good things about this book or this author. I’m obsessed with everything she’s written. If you haven’t read these books stop what you’re doing and go read them asap. You can thank me later.

(The) Fault in our Stars by John Green (reviewed here) – No surprise here with this one. Green is my favorite author and though I haven’t read this book in quite a while I still remember it so well.

Antonia

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine – This was the first book I read of hers and it still remains my favorite. I just always loved the unique fairy tale elements and the fact that the heroine isn’t pretty but is extremely kind. It’s one of the major themes throughout the book.

Fire by Kristin Cashore – I loved everything about this book but especially Fire herself.

 

Books Still on Our TBR List

Amanda

(The) Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser – This is one I picked up because I have another book by the same author (that I also haven’t read). But the cover is beautiful and the book description sounds super interesting.

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino – I picked this up on my last Target adventure. I haven’t actually heard anything from anyone about these books, but I’ve seen them at a few different bookstores and the covers always catch my eye. I’m excited to get to this one because I love fairytale retellings and I love villains and this has both.

Antonia

(Of) Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst – Amanda review this recently (read it here) and it sounded amazing so I’ll definitely have to read it.

Fate Undone by Linsey Hall – I’ve loved her Dragon’s Gift series so I was really excited to see she has an adult romance series as well. The Greek mythology is just an added bonus for me.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to let us know what books you would use for the letter F in the comments or leave us a link to your post!

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

GoodReads Summary:
Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

Review:
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and all the others that Maureen Johnson has written. So when I saw that it was immediately available to borrow as an audiobook from my library I thought I’d give it a try. I’m glad I did.
If you like murder mysteries this will absolutely be a book for you. The story follows two mysteries. One that happened years ago that, while someone was convicted of the crime, many still think of as unsolved, and another following our main character, Stevie, and the adventure she embarks on in an attempt to solve the decades-old murder. I was sucked into this mystery right from the start. I love stories about kids going away to boarding school and Ellingham Academy is one that sounds awesome. The school itself is shrouded in mystery with tunnels and mysterious students and what not. I think this book ultimately left me with more questions than it answered.
The characters were fantastic. Stevie is a Sherlock Holmes nerd and aspires to be a detective when she’s old enough. She’s constantly questioning everything she sees and everything she knows. She’s just an inquisitive person. This seems to rub some individuals the wrong way. Her two closest friends, Nate and Janelle, are great. They both have distinct and unique personalities that made me laugh and kept me interested. I liked this combination of three together. They balanced one another out well enough. Then there were the other three students living in the same dorm as the three friends. Because they all lived together they became a makeshift group of friends who sat together at lunch and dinner times and did other miscellaneous things as a group. Ellie was totally out there. I liked her for most of the book. She was the wild child, the free spirit that did what felt good and said what came to her mind. Hayes was the airhead. An aspiring actor, he came off as kind of flaky to me. He seemed to have a bigger sense of self like he thought he was better or more important than everyone else but didn’t make it super obvious like the typical snob. Then there’s David. I liked him right from the start, even though Stevie didn’t. I don’t know what it was that made me like him, but I liked him the whole book. He was probably my second favorite after Stevie. He was just so intriguing I guess. I think maybe it’s because learning more about him was like pulling teeth. Stevie mostly tried to stay away from him, until she stopped trying to stay away and started to try to get to know him. Much to her frustration, he wasn’t interested in letting her learn a whole lot about him. I think that mystery is part of what made me like him so much. And then, of course, the way this book ended (HELLO CLIFFHANGER) just makes me want the next book so that I can know what is actually going on in the world because the lack of information is literally going to kill me.
Anyway, overall, aside from the cliffhanger that left me asking more questions than I got answered through the whole book, I loved it. I thought the audiobook was read very well. The story was interesting and kept my attention the whole time. I ate up every word of both present day and past mysteries. I can’t wait for the next book to come out so that maybe I can have my sanity returned because I don’t even know what just happened with that ending.

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 link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

Summary:
Around the time that Freya loses her voice while recording her debut album, Harun is making plans to run away from everyone he has ever loved, and Nathaniel is arriving in New York City with a backpack, a desperate plan, and nothing left to lose. When a fateful accident draws these three strangers together, their secrets start to unravel as they begin to understand that the way out of their own loss might just lie in help¬ing the others out of theirs.

Review:
I was mostly underwhelmed by this story. This was my latest audiobook choice from my library. I picked it because I’ve read other books by Gayle Forman and enjoyed them. The description sounded interesting enough and I’ve heard some good things from those in the book blogging community that has read it already. I think maybe my opinion would have been different if I was reading this book instead of listening to it, but I listened to it.
This story follows three characters that have all ‘lost their way.’ The first being Freya who has lost her voice and is unsure that she will ever get it back. She’s unsure where her life can go from here. The second is Nathaniel who has lost everything that matters in his life and arrives in New York with a backpack and a destination until he runs into Freya that is. Our third main character is Harun who is letting life take him in a direction that he doesn’t really want to take. He’s letting others make choices for him so that he can hide from his problems and his true self for just a little longer. While I liked the characters, these people who are deeply flawed, just trying to figure out who they are and what their next step is in their lives, it was confusing having three different main characters. We’re following the story where the three characters meet and their stories intertwine with one another, but at the same time, we’re alternating between the three characters getting to know their histories and how they got to where they are now. So I was confused from time to time when we would switch from someone’s backstory back to the present day where the three characters were together. There was just a lot going on that was a little hard to follow in a few places.
As for the story itself, I found it pretty uneventful and unexciting. There were quite a few moments that made me think, “Hm, what an interesting connection.” But there wasn’t actually much action, the characters didn’t really do much. The majority of the plot was our characters learning things about themselves through their conversations and interactions with one another. I don’t mean to say this is a bad thing, it just wasn’t my favorite thing. I love when there’s a bit of both, self-realization but also a little bit of craziness.
I did enjoy the narrators of the audiobook. There were three different narrators and I think they did a great job reading the story and keeping me interested where the plot failed.
Overall I was underwhelmed by this story. I’m not really sure what I was expecting with this book, but I guess it was more than what I was given. I don’t think it was a bad book, not bad enough for me to DNF it, though I did consider it when I was about halfway through listening. I might recommend this to those that prefer more thought-provoking stories rather than one full of adventure and action alongside the thought-provoking aspects.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*We recently have become Amazon Affiliates. 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 link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

ABC Book Challenge |E|

Hello, Bookworms!

This week we will be talking about books with the letter E. For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – E.

Most Memorable Books 

Amanda

Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas – This book was absolutely incredible. The way that it ended was just mindblowing and heartbreaking at the same time. I might even say it was my favorite of the series, but I could change my mind when I do my reread this fall in anticipation of the final book.

Earth’s End by Elise Kova – Book three in a five book series that I read as a boxed set on my Kindle. This whole series was incredible and probably one of my top ten new reads of the year (you’ll see it pop up all over with the other book tags and bookish lists I post.)

Antonia

Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout – I’ve loved her books ever since I picked up Obsidian on a whim. This one is the last book in The Dark Elements series. It has a really well done angels vs. demons theme and the most swoon-worthy bad boy.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini – This was one of the first books I really obsessed over. The end of the series was so bittersweet and a little devastating but I’ll always have such pleasant memories of this book. (No one even think about mentioning the movie.)

 

Books Still on Our TBR Lists

Amanda

(An) Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – I’ve read this book before but I honestly don’t remember anything about it. The third book came out recently so the whole series is on my TBR list with the first two books as a reread.

(The) Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead – The third and final book in the Glittering Court Trilogy and I am beyond ready and excited to see what’s going to happen in this series conclusion.

Antonia

Everneath by Brodi Ashton – I just got all three books in this series and am really excited to see how the Orpheus/ Eurydice myth ties into it.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – I saw the movie trailer and thought it was interesting before I ever knew it was a book. After Amanda’s review of it, I knew it had to go on my TBR list.

 

This is what we’ve come up with for this weeks letter! Do you have any memorable books that start with the letter E? What about books that you haven’t managed to read yet? Feel free to answer in the comments and thanks for reading!

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Summary:
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.
Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—its origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Its carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.
But some can never stop searching for answers.
Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the provenance of relic. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result prove to be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?
Review:
What in the actual F just happened? I can’t even with this book. I one million percent understand the hype about this series now. Guys, I finally get it. Now I just need the second book and I will be okay. I will recover. But it’s more than a six-week wait for the next audiobook through my library and I might just die in the meantime.
Okay, sorry about that, but I just finished listening to this audiobook and I think I definitely died on the inside a little bit with that ending. Sleeping Giants was freaking incredible. I want to stand on the roof and shout at people walking by that they need to read this book. The story was just incredible. It was so creative and unique that I could not stop listening. I legitimately listened to this book in two days. It would have only been one day, but I’m a real adult and I had to be responsible and get my college work done. I’m honestly just blown away at how much I enjoyed this book.
First of all, the storyline was like nothing I’ve ever read before. It was so incredibly creative and unique that I’m just blown away. This book may just become one of my new all-time favorites depending on how I like the rest of the series.
The characters in Sleeping Giants were awesome. They all had such interesting and distinct personalities. Each character brought something important to the table. They each played an important part in the task that was this giant hand that they’re still researching and trying to learn more about. I can’t even write about half the things I’d love to mention because I don’t want to spoil anything.
I really liked how the story was written. Instead of the traditional story, it was read to me as a series of interviews. With a nameless, unidentified man heading this mysterious project he led interviews with all of those that were involved in the research. There were army pilots, geneticists, mathematicians and physicists that created an extremely interesting group of people that was hilarious and sad and explosive all at the same time. I’m still left wondering who this nameless interviewer is though. He seems to be the man in charge; even at the end of the book when everything is seemingly falling apart he still manages to flip the situation around to benefit him and the team.
I just still have so many questions that I know won’t be answered until I get the next book. I’m honestly still reeling from the craziness that was this story because I just finished listening and I think my brain is still trying to reform after being melted.
The audiobook for Sleeping Giants was seriously impressive. All the different characters had their own narrators so it was more like a performance rather than one person just reading the book. This was my first audiobook that had multiple narrators and it just makes the listening experience that much better.
I honestly have nothing bad to say about this book. Starting today I will be recommending this book to anyone and everyone who wants to listen to me. I will absolutely recommend it as one of my favorite audiobooks and just all around as an amazing story. There were fantastic characters who played their parts in an incredible story and I just wish there was more for me to read or listen to.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*We recently have become Amazon Affiliates. 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 link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

 

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Summary:
Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile nations. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire-a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynria’s formidable warhorses-and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine-called Mare-the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms-and each other.
Review:
I picked this book up from my local library the last time I went for a visit. I found this on the ‘Pride Month’ feature (which yes I know, was last month but I’m forever a step behind on everything.) I’m super glad I picked this book up. It was incredible and made me realize that I don’t read enough LBGTQ books. I think the thing I liked the most about this book was that it didn’t scream “HEY THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT GIRLS FALLING IN LOVE.” It told the story and just let the romance unfold and I really enjoyed that.
The first thing I thought while only a few pages into the story was that all of the characters have really weird but interesting names. I’m not mentioning this because it was bad; I mention it because it took me a minute to figure out how to say the names. I liked the unique names. It’s something that will make the story memorable to me. With the interesting and unique names, I thought it was a little odd that the descriptions in the story were so minimal. There was enough to set the scene but still left a fair amount to the imagination. With a fantasy story like this one, it was a little surprising to me. Most fantasy that I’ve read are teeming with descriptions and world building. This book had them but still left much for the reader to fill in with their own imaginations. I actually didn’t mind this at all. I tend to not read fantasy because of the amount of world building and setting descriptions, so this book was the perfect amount for me. There was also some odd language used that I didn’t like at first, but it grew on me throughout the story. Instead of hours, the characters referred to “sunlengths” and little things like this.
As for our characters, there are a ton that I could mention, but I’m just going to talk about our princesses. Mare and Denna are just about as opposite as you can get aside from their determination and drive. Mare does her best to be the farthest thing from a princess as she can. She spends her days dressed as a peasant drinking in bars trying to collect information. She is constantly underestimated by her father and her brother. Mare is desperate to find the freedom she craves so badly. Denna, on the other hand, has been raised her whole life to do the right thing, to be the proper princess, to do her duty to the kingdoms. Denna is a girl dedicated to her duty, the one she was assigned in childhood, to become a queen. She’s educated and clever, but lets herself get bossed around rather than standing up and saying, “Hey I have this great idea that you should all probably listen to.” So when she and Mare start to bond and Mare starts to listen to Denna’s thoughts and ideas, the not so proper feelings start. I enjoyed every page of watching these girls realize that the love they’d both been looking for their whole lives was right there in front of them. I’m a total sucker for the forbidden love trope. I love that this love was forbidden, but not because it’s love between two women because one of the women is already engaged to be married.
Overall I loved this book. Between the two female main characters that I just couldn’t get enough of as they figured out who they are and what exactly they want from life and one another. The forbidden love aspect had me hooked from the beginning. And the world the story takes place in was interesting enough to leave me pining for the next book that doesn’t come out until next year. I’m dying to know what’s going to happen in this world that frowns upon magic, which may just lead to the end of the world. This book had a great ending for our two princesses but definitely left me wanting more. This was a great young adult fantasy and I would recommend it to anyone.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

*We recently have become Amazon Affiliates. 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 link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

Tilt by Ellen Hopkins

Summary:
Witnessing the fallout from the poor choices their parents make, three teens are clinging to the last remnants of the secure and familiar world in which they’ve grown up. But what was once clear is now confused. Everything is tilting.
Mikayla is sure she’s found the love her parents lost, but is suddenly weighing nearly impossible choices. Shane has come out, but finds himself struggling to keep it all under control in the face of first love and a horrific loss. Harley, a good girl just seeking new experiences, never expects to hurtle toward self-destructive extremes in order to define who she is. Ellen Hopkins crafts a wrenching story that explores the ways we each find the strength we need to hold on when our world’s been tilted completely off its axis.

Review:
Tilt by Ellen Hopkins is a sort of companion novel to her adult novel Triangles (you can find my review for Triangles here.) I really enjoyed that book and was super excited to read this one and get the story from the perspective of the children. Hopkins once again did not disappoint.
This story starts off right where Triangles does. It’s the beginning of summer break and that’s the best time of year for any kid. The time with no responsibilities, the time for the beach and camping and all the fun summer activities, which yes, usually involves doing things our parents wouldn’t want us to. I know I sure went a little crazy in the summertime when I was younger.
I really liked this book better than Triangles. I’ve spent all day thinking about why this is and I think I’ve settled on the fact that I have a much easier time relating to the characters within Tilt. I’ve been the girl that sneaks out of her house. I’ve been the girl who goes to her mom’s house because I could get away with murder there rather than have to follow the ruled at my dad’s house. I’ve been the girl who drinks and smokes even though it’s not the best or right way to deal with my problems or emotions. These characters are going through things that I understand and can completely relate to. That’s something that will immediately make me love a book, reading about a character that I can relate to or have similar experiences too. Like my review for Triangles, I’m not going to go into the details of each character, but I really loved them all. They’re just kids trying to figure out what their place is in this crazy world while also fighting seemingly insurmountable struggles.
This story, Tilt, talks about so many subjects that are normally shied away from. One character struggles with being a pregnant teenager and what that means for her future. She struggles with the decision of abortion versus adoption versus keeping the baby. Another character struggles with being gay and having a boyfriend that’s infected with HIV. Then his sister dies and he falls down the depression hole and uses drinking and drugs to try to cope with his feelings. The third deals with how she views herself versus how she thinks others view her. She does things and makes choices that she knows she probably shouldn’t but does them anyway because she craves attention and mostly just wants to be loved. Even though I’m almost 25, I remember what it was like to feel similarly to these characters and deal with these struggles.
I preferred Tilt over Triangles for one other reason. I’m not sure what it is that makes me feel this way, but the young characters in Tilt seem to have such a better awareness of those around them. They’re most considerate of how their loved ones are feeling and (for the most part) how their actions will affect those that they care about. In Triangles, that seems to be something lacking from the adults. You would think it would be the other way around where the adults would be overly concerned about how the results of their actions on their children, but the children, Shane, Mikayla, and Harley are always thinking about how their parents would feel if they did this or that. It was something I liked and I thought it showed an interesting maturity in them.
Overall I really enjoyed this story. It’s another book from Hopkins that hits close to home and makes you think about topics that people usually avoid. This book makes you take a hard look at choices that some teens have to make. Tilt talks about things that should be talked about rather than shied away from. With relatable characters and a story so interesting I just couldn’t put the book down until I finished every last page. I recommend this book to every reader out there for sure. Hopkins is an incredible writer and I’m just blown away by her talent every time I read another of her books. If you haven’t read any of Ellen Hopkins works stop what you’re doing and go read any of them right now.

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!

Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

Summary:
Holly is filled with regret after eighteen years at home with her three children. She sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Andrea is a single mom watching her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for. So what is she picks up Holly’s castaway husband? Marissa has more than her fair share of challenges-a gay, rebellious teenage son; a terminally ill daughter; and a husband who buries himself in his work.
As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.
Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner, told in gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse that perfectly captured the inner lives of Hopkin’s unforgettable characters.

Review:
Have you ever read anything written by Ellen Hopkins? No? Then don’t bother finishing this review. Stop what you’re doing and go get one of her books right now and read it. Everything written by this author is absolutely incredible. She’s for sure one of my favorite authors out there. The way she writes is just mind-blowing.
Triangles is the first of her adult novels that I have read and I didn’t realize that it was going to be written the same way her young adult novels are. Hopkins writes her stories in poetic verse. She’s telling us the story that we’re reading, but within that story, there are poems that reflect what’s going on within the story or tells of things to come. If you haven’t read one of her books you don’t know what I mean, so go read one of her books and then come back and read this review. After I finished this book all I could think was how difficult it must be to come up with stories like these and then write them in the form that she does. To find the right words to reflect what the story is telling. It’s honestly so amazing and I’m in awe of her talent and creativity.
As for the story, it was interesting as her stories always are. Also, as usual, this book was about many different hard topics. Hopkins isn’t one to shy away from those controversial or difficult subjects. She’s honest and powerful and real about things that need to be said. Things like cheating on your spouse, from random hookups to actual affairs, teenage pregnancy from the parents perspective, having a child who comes out to you as gay and seeing the two different sides of accepting parent and the disdainful parent, parents that have disabled or ill children. This story was honestly hard for me to read because I’m eight months pregnant and thinking about my child dealing with heartbreak or illness or the struggles within these pages had me tearing up quite a bit. This is a book that will no doubt make you feel all the emotions and think about these hard topics that you may not have thought about before.
I’m not going to go into detail about any of the characters specifically because I don’t think I can do it without spoiling because of some of my thoughts about certain characters. So instead I will talk about the overall of the book. I think it was so fascinating to see these three women have their lives connect and slowly intertwine between their choices and their children and such. Three women, so very different from one another, going through their own struggles and dealing with said struggles in their own way, it was so interesting to see the three hugely different personalities dealing with their life issues in their own ways (even if I didn’t agree with some of those ways, it was still a little fun to watch them crash and burn). Three women who, from an outside perspective, have the world and still aren’t happy with it.
Overall this story was emotional and powerful, sexy and exciting, dramatic and entertaining. It had characters you can love and characters you can love to hate. I’m not surprised in the least that I loved this story. I think Ellen Hopkins did an excellent job with this adult novel, just like she always does with her young adult ones.

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!

Stormcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary:
A pirate on the run.
Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move wind, waves, and weather, but his magical abilities can’t protect him forever from the brutal Empress Celestine. As Celestine’s relentless bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom that an invasion is imminent. If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall and his last sanctuary will be destroyed. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.
A warrior princess.
Meanwhile, the queen’s formidable daughter, Princess Alyssa ana’Raisa, is already a prisoner aboard the empress’s ship, sailing east. Lyss may be the last hope of bringing down the empress from within her own tightly controlled stronghold.
The storm of war.
Intricately interwoven storylines converge in this gripping novel as the warring Seven Realms struggle to unite against a horrific tyrant.
Review:
Oh my god the way this book ended. I almost don’t even know how to write this review right now with that freaking ending. The fourth book, Deathcaster, isn’t scheduled to be published until March of next year and I might just die waiting.
Okay, you guys obviously know that I love this series and this author from previous reviews that I’ve written. Sadly I think Stormcaster is going to be my least favorite out of the Shattered Realms series unless the fourth book is terrible and I hate the ending, but I don’t predict that happening. There is really only one reason why it was my least favorite and it’s not even a very good one. These books are written in the perspective of multiple characters that we spent the first two books meeting and getting the history for most of them. This third book follows Evan Strangward, our next mage marked character, while we learn his history and how it intertwines with a few characters that we’ve met in the previous two books. The book was almost hard to read because there was so much going on. At this point, we’ve met six or more characters that are all playing their own crucial part to the story. So we need to check in with each of them and see where they’re at and what they’re doing toward their part in the story. While some of them are together and that combines the story, we still hear from all of the characters and see their point of view. It was honestly just a little too much for me. I’m one that usually loves the multi-perspective stories and I did love this story, but it was a little much. I wanted more from each character. I wanted to see more and know more about what they were doing next. This is really my only complaint though.
I absolutely adored all of the characters, new and old. I’m not going to say too much about each of them or I would go on for days. I loved finally catching up with Ash and seeing where he was. Getting to see him reunite with his mother literally made me cry and it was amazing. I especially loved Evan, our newest main character. We met him in previous books but we really got to know him and where he came from in this story. I without a doubt adore and fully support his relationship with Destin. I really enjoyed getting to know Destin better as well. Seeing this other side of his character was really interesting and I enjoyed seeing this other side of him. I still love Hal but I’m upset that he doesn’t make an effort to go after Lyss. I get that he has his family to worry about and is trying to do the right thing and help everyone instead of just Lyss but I still wanted him to go after her. Lyss is still the absolute best. She’s still a kickass girl who takes nothing from anyone. Even kidnapped she’s still sassy and fierce and I’m obsessed with her. I really enjoyed her and Jenna meeting. I think they are an interesting combination and their story could be really fun together. Jenna is so smart and so determined even though she is inexperienced and this is where I think Lyss will fit the gap beautifully. They can become such a fabulous team and I’m excited to see where they go together in the next book. I wonder though if the other characters in the story will get to see what a personality Cas has like we do. I think if they do it will be portrayed very interestingly.
There were so many unlikely alliances in Stormcaster. Many that I never saw coming. All of them were slightly hilarious and added so much fun to the story, especially with all the different points of view. We really got to see what each character thought of one another and it made for some great comedy. Along with this comedy, there were quite a few little (some not so little) bits of irony. I’m not going to say anything specific, just that it was really well written and I loved that these little things were added to the story. This was just another thing that made the writing that much better. I think this book, like the last, was very well written with all of the characters’ stories intersecting and meeting at different points in their lives and then again in the present. All of the characters working toward the same goal all over the world without knowing that their friends and not always allies are out there doing the same thing.
I was glad to finally get some answers in this book. There is one giant event or secret or something that these books have been leading up to. The magemarked, what’s up with the mark on their neck and their abilities? Where do they come from? Why does no one know where they come from or their purpose? We finally get a few (very minimal) answers. Just enough answers to leave us wanting more and wondering what the rest of the story is. I’m glad to finally have some answers but honestly, everything in this book just made me want the fourth book to be here already so I can know how this story ends. I’m sick of waiting. I want to rescue Lyss and make sure this stupid evil empress leaves the rest of the world alone. I believe the final book is going to be where we get the back story on Empress Celeste. Let me tell you, I’m SUPER excited to learn about her past from the little bits and pieces we learned about her in Stormcaster.
Anyway, I’m going to stop now or I’ll just keep going and going. Overall, the writing was (as usual) amazing and incredible and hilarious (especially their swearing, so creative and funny). It’s another book by Cinda Williams Chima that I enjoyed getting lost in the wonderful world that she’s created with characters that are unforgettable and so so lovable. This series is great for all those readers out there that love excellently built worlds and fantasy and a touch of magic all tied together with characters that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same damn time.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Red, White & Blue

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week is top ten books with Red, White and Blue book covers (in honor of the 4th of July). This one was actually pretty easy for me, but only because I already took some bookstagram pictures of books with red, white or blue covers for the holiday. I’m going to list a few that are one of the three colors and then see if I have any books that have all three colors on them.

red white and blue
Red

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The Elite by Kiera Cass

White (ish)

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Warcross by Marie Lu
The One by Kiera Cass

Blue

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
The Selection by Kiera Cass

Red, White & Blue

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

lunar chronicles

These are just the ones that I found within my hardcopy books in my at home collection, there were a few more that I could have added from my list of ebooks but I didn’t want to go too crazy. What books do you have that are patriotic?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Cover Trends I Like/Dislike

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is top ten cover trends you like or dislike most. I’ve decided to do a mix of both.

 

Cover Trends I Like

1. Pretty Dresses-

When it comes to clothes and shoes, I am such a girly-girl. I love wearing dresses and wish I ever had occasions to wear the beautiful ballgowns and evening dresses I see so often on book covers.

ruby red bewitching alex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Dark with a Splash of Color- 

I don’t know what it is about these covers that intrigues me, but I think the contrast between the dark or gray-scale and that pop of color is striking.

dark visions city of ahses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Dragons-

I’ve always been fascinated by dragons and seeing one on a book will make me instantly pick it up and read the description.

Eon sanctuary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. A Simple, Title-Only Cover-
It doesn’t have to be completely blank, but covers that only have a simple design around the title make me want to know what the book’s about since the cover doesn’t tell me anything.
eternity curetfios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. One Object that Connects to the Book-
It’s easy for me to imagine what the characters look like and my vision of them doesn’t usually match how they look on the cover. I love when, instead of showing the main character(s), a cover has a design of an object that’s important to the books plot.
demon kingscarlet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Trends I Dislike

6. Partial Faces-

I really just don’t understand this trend at all. Whether its book covers, movie posters, selfies, etc. What’s the point in showing half a face?
deliriumvampire-diaries-the-return-nightfall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Cartoons-
I don’t want to feel like I’m reading a children’s book when I’m not in the children’s section. (Note: I have nothing against Rainbow Rowell or these books. I’ve heard good things about them, I just couldn’t think of any other cartoon covers off the top of my head.)
eleanor & parkfangirl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Rainbow or Clashing Colors-
I find covers with tons of colors or with colors that don’t work well together (or even just one color that I don’t like) distracting.
little miss redperks of

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Busy Covers-
If there’s too much going on, I feel like the book is going to be chaotic. When I’m trying to scan shelves quickly, I don’t want to have to take five minutes to figure out what’s on the cover. Also, if the title font is hard to read. I know fancy fonts are pretty, but if I can’t read it easily it sort of defeats the purpose.
dreams of gods and monstersdash and lily

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Cover Redesigns

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s prompt is top ten covers I wish I could redesign. I think this one’s going to be hard for me because, for the most part, I don’t really ever hate book covers. But I’ll do my best.


1. Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead- I actually wasn’t a big fan of most of these covers except the last two. I’m not sure why. I think Rose just looks a little awkward on all of them.

onyx
2. Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout-
Out of all of the covers this one just doesn’t seem to fit the story.

akissintimecloaked
3. A Kiss in Time and Cloaked by Alex Flinn-
I adore these books. But I don’t particularly like these versions of the covers. Beastly’s cover is similar to them but actually connects to the storyline. (Obviously. It’s a rose.) But flowers have nothing to do with these other books.

Nora Roberts The Witness
4. The Witness by Nora Roberts- I loved this book so much. But the cover didn’t connect to the story for me at all.

house of night
5. House of Night by P.C. and Kristin Cast- For as many of these covers that I loved, there was just as many that I hated. Some were just a little cheesy and awkward. (Hated the first three. Loved the three following them.)

uglies
6. Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld- I haven’t read this series even though Amanda has tried many times to try to convince me to do so. I think half the reason I don’t want to is the covers. I don’t know what it is about them that I don’t like, but I really can’t stand them.

crystal cove
7. Crystal Cove by Lisa Kleypas- This cover wasn’t really that bad. However, compared to how much I liked the covers of the other books in this series, I didn’t like this one at all.

And I think that’s all I can come up with. Let me know your opinions and other covers you’d like to change.
-Antonia