B&N Book Club – October

Hi book friends, Amanda here.

Today I’m going to share with you my first Barnes and Nobel Book Club adventure!

This month’s book club book is An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. When I found out this was the book I knew I had to participate because I’m a die-hard fan of the Green brothers.

I also decided to participate because I’ve recently moved and I’m interested in attempting to make some bookish friends that I can hang out with in real life instead of just over the internet. In a perfect world, all my internet friends would live close to me, but we sadly don’t live in a perfect world.

So I’m writing this post the morning before book club and I will add more after I have attended the meetup tonight at seven pm! I binge read the book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (AART), last night because I let myself get distracted all month. I’m a huge procrastinator so this is pretty typical for me. I was mostly waiting for a solid block of time to spend with the story and characters.

Here are a few thoughts I had while reading this book:

“Wow, hitting on all the relevant topics.”
“I can’t stop reading parts in Hank’s voice because I totally adore him.”
“I love that April can recognize that she is flawed and imperfect. She acknowledges that sometimes her motivations were selfish and shitty.”
“Yaaas, NaNoWriMo!”
“I wonder if April May talking about writing and book events are ideas that he asked John about or learned while booktouring with John.”
“WHAT WAS THAT ENDING. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO US HANK?!”

I wrote down quite a few more thoughts, but those will likely be included in my review which I will write after the book club meet up!

So, I’m super excited for my first time attending a book club. I’m not totally sure what to expect, but I’m happy to be doing something I’ve never done before.

The Next Day – 

Hi Friends! It’s now Thursday and I was too sleepy to finish this post last night. So I’m here with some coffee and ready to tell you all about the wonderful time I had last night.

Driving to book club, I was super nervous and anxious mostly because I didn’t know what to expect. I was worried that I would be the only younger person there. I was also worried that I would be the only one to show up.

All of these worries were washed away as soon as I sat down in the circle of chairs that had been set up for the meeting. I showed up early (because I hate being the one that shows up late.) I made sure to have time to walk around and maybe pick out a few new books to take home. (I did. I bought Pillow Thoughts Pillow Thoughts II by Courtney Peppernell and Wonder Woman by Leigh Bardugo.) Then I walked over to the B&N Cafe (it’s NOT Starbucks!) and ordered a ridiculous Starbucks coffee (I’m a Dunkin’ Donuts girl.) I even asked the cashier if he could spell my name wrong to complete the experience (he didn’t.) I asked him for directions to where book club was happening.

Making my way through the stacks with my coffee and my new books I started to get more excited. As the circle of chairs came into my line of sight I saw that three or four of them already had people in them. So I found an empty chair and took my seat.

There was an awkward silence here and there, nothing too unusual. The B&N employee (I’m so sorry, but I can’t remember her name.) showed up and we all had some casual conversation while we waited for it to be 7pm. We wanted to allow a little bit of time for any last minute stragglers. (Good thing we did because there was a handful of people that came right at or right after seven.)

We all introduced ourselves and added whether or not we enjoyed the book. I think I liked it the best out of everyone. Some didn’t like it at all, some thought it was alright, and some just liked it. I was definitely a little disappointed that the others didn’t love it as much as I did but to each their own.

It didn’t take long for us to get right into it. Barnes and Nobel provided us with some interesting discussion questions that we mostly disregarded after they were read to us and went off on our own tangents. Most of this meeting was spent with the four younger (ish) members explaining various things about social media and being YouTube famous and things like this. It was interesting seeing the difference in knowledge and understanding between the age differences. We spent a lot of time answering questions about the difference between traditionally famous people (sports players, actors/actresses, etc.) and internet famous people. (READ- famous for doing a job vs. famous for being themselves was what we decided the difference was.)

Overall, I had SO much fun. I laughed a lot. I talked a lot. I learned a lot. I will definitely be continuing to participate in this book club. I’m actually going to try to find another one because sadly the B&N book club isn’t as regular as I’d like.

The things I didn’t like:

  1. I left without finding out what the next book choice is going to be (not because I left early, but because there isn’t a specifically determined time for the next book/meeting.)
  2. (See above) – There is not an announced time for the next meeting or even a book chosen. WHY BARNES AND NOBEL WHY? (Supposedly because of the holidays, but I think the holidays are some of my favorite times to read. So lame excuse B&N.)
  3. This isn’t a regular thing. I guess I just assumed that this was a monthly book club. But they have had three meetings since May. So disappointing.

This is all I’ve got for things I didn’t like. Basically, I didn’t like that this doesn’t happen more frequently. Other than this I loved it. I had so much fun talking about a book I enjoyed by an author I love with people I didn’t know.

I am definitely looking forward to whatever book is chosen next! Did anyone else join the Barnes and Nobel Book Club? What did you think of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

The Darkest Star by Jennifer L. Armentrout

GoodReads Summary:
When seventeen-year-old Evie Dasher is caught up in a raid at a notorious club known as one of the few places where humans and the surviving Luxen can mingle freely, she meets Luc, an unnaturally beautiful guy she initially assumes is a Luxen…but he is in fact something much more powerful. Her growing attraction for Luc will lead her deeper and deeper into a world she’d only heard about, a world where everything she thought she knew will be turned on its head…
#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the universe of the Lux in this brand new series, featuring beloved characters both new and old.
Review:
The Darkest Star was a book that I received from NetGalley as an ARC. Jennifer L. Armentrout’s first book in the Lux series, Obsidian, is actually the book that inspired myself and Antonia to create this book review blog in the first place. So when I saw that Armentrout was coming out with another installment in the same world featuring some of the characters we’ve grown to love very much I knew that I had to have it. When NetGalley approved me for this I think I actually shrieked out loud.
I tore through this story like no body’s business. I totally loved Evie. She’s a nice girl that gets her entire world shaken to its core. She was a realistic reaction to everything she goes through. Having a minor meltdown but still trying to keep it together. Talking about her problems with her friends. Even the ending was great. Nothing completely resolved, she acknowledges that she needs to take time to figure out who she really is, but is willing to do that surrounded by those that care about her. I liked Evie. She was a realistic and likable character.
Luc is a total book boyfriend babe. He’s our typical mysterious, protective, I-know-everything macho male main character. But I loved every second of it. He was just trying to look out for Evie because she didn’t really even know the whole story. Luc is a guy with a dark past. He is our ‘darkest star’ as the title tells us. I liked that with the mysterious vibe he gives there was actual darkness within him instead of just being mysterious because we didn’t know his history. He has a dark history and has dealt with hardships, done things he’d rather forget. I really loved Luc.

“We were all stars, but Luc … he was the darkest.”

This book was super quotable. I’m a bookworm that loves books that have memorable quotes. This one has a couple that I really love. It’s a wonderfully written story with characters that I love and can’t wait to read more about. The book was fast paced and exciting, giving us a little bit of information at a time, just enough to keep the reader interested and needing to know more.
I would recommend this to all the lovers of the Lux series for sure. And to those who don’t know about the Lux series, go look them up now and read them and love them.

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!

Book Tag – Cookies!

I saw this tag posted by Boston Book Reader and thought it looked like fun! I hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed writing!

Chocolate Chip – A classic book you love or really enjoyed

Amanda: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Antonia: The Count of Monte Cristo is my new favorite classic.

Thin Mints – A fandom that you really want to join and/or a hyped up book you want to read

Amanda: The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. I have this on my shelves and I’m DYINGG to read it.

Antonia: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas.

Shortbread – An author you can’t get enough of

Amanda: John Green forever, but also Sarah J. Maas.

Antonia: I literally never get sick of Nora Roberts.

Samoas – An emotional rollercoaster

Amanda: Looking for Alaska by John Green.

Antonia: Inheritance by Christopher Paolini.

Oreos – A book whose cover was better than the story or whose story was better than the cover

Amanda: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco i didn’t like this story as much as i thought i would but the cover is to die for.

Antonia: I absolutely love the cover for The Gilded King by Josie Jaffrey but didn’t love the story quite as much.

Tagalongs (Peanut Butter Patties) – A book that wasn’t what you expected

Amanda: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. I didnt expect to learn so much about the French Revolution and enjoy it.

Antonia: I really wasnt expecting much from The Dragon’s Gift series by Linsey Hall but ended up absolutely loving all the subseries.

Snickerdoodles – A book you may never stop loving or rereading

Amanda: I’m going to have to say A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (but only because i already answered a question with Looking for Alaska)

Antonia: The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory will forever be my favorite.

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so you and others can blog hop and share the character love.

i heart characters.jpg

This weeks topic is Favorite Stephen King Character (A character from Stephen King’s creative mind that you love! It can be based upon ANY of his adaptions… Let’s prepare for the Halloween season!)

Amanda

I have only read one novel by Stephen King. Horror is a genre that I tend to stay away from. I don’t like to be scared. This goes for books and movies and everything else. So the character I have for this week’s topic is Carrie. She’s a little out there and definitely crazy. I read the book and then watched the movie and the book was SO much more detailed. I was so surprised by her story and how much I liked it. Carrie was a socially awkward girl that could move things with her mind and got picked on by her peers. But in the end, she sure showed them that she was a not a girl to be trifled with. Check out my review of Carrie here to see my thoughts about the whole book.

Antonia

I also avoid the horror genre like the plague to the point where I’ve never read any of King’s books or watched the movie adaptations. Not that I have anything against King particularly; in the past I’ve thought some of his books sounded really interesting but I’m way too much of a scaredy-cat.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

GoodReads Summary:
Two star-crossed magicians engage in a deadly game of cunning in The Night Circus, the spellbinding bestseller that has captured the world’s imagination. 
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
Review:
When I started this book it was as an audiobook that I got from my library. I found with the audiobook that I had a really hard time focusing and noticed that I had to rewind and listen again because I would lose focus and miss important details. About twenty percent into The Night Circus I decided to see if the ebook version was available from my library and it was, so I made the switch. I had a much more enjoyable time once I switch to the ebook.
I ate this story up. The Night Circus is a book that I heard about through the bookstagram world (thank god for the bookish community.) I honestly didn’t even read the summary of the book until after I’d already started the audiobook. But by then my attention had already been caught, so it didn’t really matter what the book summary said.
By then I had already started to become attached to Celia after seeing her meet her father as a little girl and have no idea what her father was signing her up for. After watching her train herself and learn more about her abilities and how far she can take them. I only grew more attached as I read instead of listened to the story. I fell more in love as she became a young woman who learned how to stand up to her father, while still learning the things he wants her to. I love Celia. She’s intelligent, caring, clever, and mysterious all at the same time.
While falling in love with Celia I was also learning to love Marco. Adopted as an orphan for the sole purpose of being trained for this challenge, but never being given the full story, he was a very compelling character. I so enjoyed watching him try to figure things out on his own and the way he learned to teach himself and take care of himself because he knew that no one else would. I liked Marco most of the time. There were a  few moments that had me shaking my head wondering why he thought that was the best course of action  (it wasn’t). Regardless, I enjoyed Marco especially once he and Celia started interacting directly rather than just through the circus.
There were some excellent supporting characters in this story. Many others that got their own side story that only added interest to The Night Circus as a whole, like the clockmaker and the fortune-teller. I love when authors give me supporting characters that have stories to tell. I think it makes the book just that much better overall. This was one thing that made it hard for me to listen to this as an audiobook. There were so many different stories being told within this one book that listening to it had them blending together and it wasn’t always clear when we were moving to a new perspective. I really like books with multiple perspectives, especially when they’re complex like this one. I just might not recommend the audiobook over the ebook or paper version unless you know you’ll be able to focus.
Another thing I really liked was that this story was set in the late 1800s into the early 1900s. Over the period of many years. Too many stories have timelines that just aren’t realistic or don’t make sense. This book didn’t do that. We read through many many years of our characters lives. I think that just gives the reader a feeling of really knowing the characters and as if we’ve been on this journey with them. I also have to compliment the author on her writing skills because I don’t think I would be able to write a multi-perspective book with this complex story.
As a whole, I liked The Night Circus. Erin Morgenstern is a very talented writer and I hope to be able to write a story like this one day. This book was complex and interesting. Extremely detailed and involved but not to the point where it was hard to get through, just enough to hold my attention and keep me dying to know what’s going to happen. I loved that while it was romantic, with forbidden love (my favorite), there were also some pretty dark aspects to this story. This was a nice touch because what’s life without a little darkness?

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!

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

GoodReads Summary:
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.
This is the twelfth expedition.
Their group is made up of four women: an anthropologist; a surveyor; a psychologist, the de facto leader; and our narrator, a biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X delivers—they discover a massive topographic anomaly and life forms that surpass understanding—but it’s the surprises that came across the border with them, and the secrets the expedition members are keeping from one another, that change everything.
Review:
I realize as I’m writing this that I have been on a science fiction kick. With this book and the Themis Files and others that are up next on my TBR list. This was a book I found while I was browsing suggestions from my library on my ebook/audiobook library app. They have a list of books that are / will be made into movies and Annihilation was on that list. It sounded super interesting so I thought I’d give it a try.
I’m glad I did give it a try because I enjoyed it immensely. I read this ebook in two days. Lately, I’ve been reading much slower because I have a baby to take care of and I’m trying to make sure school is my priority before I let myself get lost in books. I’ve been super good about it too. But I let myself read at night when my baby wakes me up for feedings.
I almost had to stop reading last night while I was feeding because the story got a little bit spooky for me to be reading in the dark in the middle of the night. There were certainly some creepy parts and a few that just gave me the chills. The author did a great job of portraying how our narrator was feeling. I really enjoyed how this book was written. For this story, we’re reading the journal of a biologist that is venturing into Area X on the twelfth expedition. The only information we get is from this biologist, in her journal which is full of only what she learns or decides to share with us. I liked this, but it’s also frustrating because the reader is barely getting any of the big pictures, we only know as much as our narrator/main character knows (which isn’t all that much in this case).
The only thing I didn’t like was this lack of information. I liked the setup and how the story was told, I just wish that our narrator had learned more and had the supplies and opportunity to figure out more of the situation. The book ended and I still have many questions.
I liked the narrator. I really liked that we’re reading her journal because it feels like we’re really getting to know who she is. I know there are two more books but I think they are told from other perspectives. I’m hoping that we will meet the biologist once again in these later books.
This story was certainly mysterious and interesting. My questions kept me interested, wondering what the biologist was going to do/learn next. Overall, I liked the characters though we really only saw development from our narrator. I loved the idea behind the story. It’s creative and kept me wanting more. I’m excited to read the next book!

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!

Book Tag – Back to School

It’s that time of year bookworms! Back to school is an exciting time of year. New pens, pencils, and markers. New notebooks and planners. Back to school shopping was always my favorite kind of shopping! This tag originally comes from a YouTuber named Jenny Unscripted.

English/Language Arts – Name your favorite author or books’ writing style

Amanda- John Green is my favorite author. But Ellen Hopkins is my favorite writing style. The way she writes her books in such a poetic way is incredible.

Antonia- I really love the way Patrick Rothfuss writes in The Kingkiller Chronicles. It’s as though the main character is telling the story directly to you and it adds so much depth to his character.

Math – A book that made you frustrated

Amanda- The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco. I just wanted to get some answers. I almost dnf’d it.

Antonia- Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. I character I loved from the previous series died in this one and I’m still so mad about it. (Note: I resent the fact that this one is for math because math was always my favorite subject.)

Science – A book that made you think or question things

Amanda- Any book by John Green. Also The Alchemist by Paul Coelho.

Antonia- The Shack by William P. Young.

History – Your favorite book from a different time period

Amanda: My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows for a historical fiction. And The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien for a book that’s actually from a different time period.

Antonia- I love any of the regency romance novels by Julia Quinn.

Art – Your favorite book with pictures

Amanda- Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast. This book (and the second one) have actual pages with pictures in them rather than just cute little pictures with the chapter headings.

Antonia- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.

Drama – A book you would love to see adapted to a movie or TV show

Amanda- A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas would be excellent to see as a tv show for sure.

Antonia- I totally agree with Amanda but to choose my own, I think The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory would make amazing movies.

Music – Name a character you think would have the same musical taste as you

Amanda- I think Charlie from Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow has potential to have the same musical taste as me. Likely some moody alternative music but also sometimes some poppin’ rap/hiphop.

Antonia- Simone from Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts. She mentions what music she’s listening to often and I loved all her choices.

Lunch – A food you would love to try from a book

Amanda- I’m going to be basic on this one but I’d love to try butterbeer or any of the candies from the Harry Potter books.

Antonia- I always wanted to try all the foods from the epic feasts in the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.

Bus Ride Home – A book or author that is relaxing

Amanda- I’d have to say the Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. Reading this series is like hanging out with an old friend. Always a good time guaranteed to have some laughs.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. I’ve read it so many times at this point that it’s like hanging out with an old friend.

Extra Credit – A book someone else told you to read and you ended up enjoying it

Amanda- Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. My step sister told me to read this and I’m glad she did. It was super good.

Antonia- Most of the books Amanda yells at me to read. Most recently was the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova.

ABC Book Challenge |L|

For those of you that are new here – each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A all the way through Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are sadly still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – L

Most Memorable Books

Amanda

Looking for Alaska by John Green – This is my all time favorite book. My husband showed it to me when we were in high school and he was just my best friend. This book helped me think about and deal with things I didn’t know how to yet.

Antonia

(The) Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. One of my favorite childhood books. I will always adore this series.

 

 

Books Still on Our TBR Lists

Amanda

(The) The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo – This book of novellas is a recent buy for me. I love Bardugo’s writing so I’m excited to see what’s in store for me with this one.

Antonia

(The) Liar by Nora Roberts- I haven’t read this one since it first came out and I hardly remember it. (Which is actually really unusual for me.) I’ve been thinking of rereading this one soon.

 

 

 

Book Tag – The Summer Tag

I found this book tag over on Boston Book Reader who has all the fun book tags! I thought this would be a fun one now that summer is coming to an end.

What book cover makes you think of summer?

Amanda- Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow.

Antonia- Island of Glass by Nora Roberts

What book has brightened your day?

Amanda- The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich. This series never fails to make me laugh.

Antonia- How am I supposed to choose? Books from my childhood are usually the ones that make me happiest.

Find a book cover with yellow on it.

Amanda- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Strong Larsson.

Antonia- Warrior Rising by P.C. Cast.

What is your favorite summer beach read?

Amanda- Pretty much anything by Nora Roberts or Janet Evanovich.

Antonia- I love reading Julia Quinn’s books at the beach. They make me laugh so hard.

What action book had you running to the ice cream man for some snacks?

Amanda- Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts for sure had me running for snacks to keep my hands as busy as my brain was.

Antonia- Hmm… I pretty much always have snacks no matter what so I can’t really answer this.

What book has left you with a bad or painful ending like a summer sunburn?

Amanda- Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas. The events that occurred in this book were not okay.

Antonia- Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I loved this series but the ending killed me.

What book gave you happy feelings at the ending like a sunset at the end of a wonderful day?

Amanda- Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum. This book was too good and I totally loved the ending.

Antonia- Beheld by Alex Flinn. This book had me grinning like a lunatic.

What book cover reminds you of a sunset?

Amanda- Come Sundown by Nora Roberts. It actually has a sunset on the cover.

Antonia- If I Should Die by Amy Plum. It also has a sunset on the cover.

What is one book or series you hope to read this summer?

Amanda- The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin. Summer is basically over at this point so my hope of reading this series is quickly dwindling.

Antonia- I’d like to finish the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova.

I Heart Characters!

I Heart Characters! is a weekly meme hosted by Dani @ Perspective of a Writer to showcase our book blogger love for characters! Each week she’ll supply a topic and you’ll supply the character. Post on whatever day suits you, about characters from whatever media you love (books, movies, K-dramas, television, manga, anime, webtoons, whatever!) and link up on Thursday so you and others can blog hop and share the character love.

i heart characters.jpg

This weeks topic is Bam! The Opposite Sex (A character you’d like to read about but the opposite sex of what they identified within the original story!)

Amanda

I have two choices for this weeks topic. I just couldn’t decide between the two, but one option was a female main character and the other choice was a male main character so I thought it worked out well.

The first is from my favorite book, Looking for Alaska by John Green. Our main character, Miles Halter (also known as Pudge) goes off to boarding school where his whole life changes. He makes new friends and does things that he’d never done before, smoking cigarettes, pranking other students, drinking. He falls in love with a girl and learns a lot about himself, about love, and about life. I have always wondered how this story would be different or the same had the main character been a girl instead of Miles. I think I may write this story one day, but I wonder how Miles experience would differ from the boarding school experiences of a female.

The second choice I have for this topic is my favorite series, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. So I’d really love to read this series from Rhysands perspective, but that’s not really the question I’m being asked. I also think it would be so interesting and totally change the whole story had our main character, Feyre, been a male main character. This would be interesting because I think all the other roles would need to be reversed as well. So Rhysand would need to be a female and being a High Lord that might mean that all the other High Lords would be made female as well to have the story make sense. This role reversal would be excellent.

Antonia

Oh, man. All of them? I think gender-swaps are fascinating.

I think Bloodlines by Richelle Mead would be really cool if Adrian and Sydney’s roles were reversed. While they’re very complex, their personalities definitely fit with what you might typically expect as male and female. I’d love to see those stereotypes erased. Have a female vampire who’s kind of a player and a guy who’s a little neurotic and body-conscious.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Summary:
Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow.
Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.
Now for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three troubled girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into Sparrow’s harbor and pulling them under.
Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives, unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.
Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople will turn against one another. Penny and Bo will suspect the other of hiding secrets. And death with come swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.
Bu only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo or save herself.
Review:
The Wicked Deep was brought to my attention through the book blogging world. The beautiful cover was featured on countless bookstagrams and bookish twitters because it photographs so well. Once I read the synopsis I was more than interested. Vengeful sisters and murder? Count me in.
There was a little while during the story that I wasn’t really sure where things were going. Were they going to figure out how to get rid of the Swan sisters for good? What was the end goal here? Then I found out and man I totally should have seen that plot twist coming. I’m honestly not sure how I missed it, all the clues were there.
I don’t think I have anything negative to say about The Wicked Deep. It has an incredibly unique storyline with fully developed and interesting characters that pull you in and leave you with all the feels.
Penny, our main character, is an outsider in her town. I immediately liked her because she chooses to stay on the island and care for her mother. She’s a girl that really cares about the people in her life and is loyal to no end. After learning about certain events in the book I really felt bad for Penny because someone did her real dirty and she will never even find out about it. So many secrets are being kept from her right through the ending and I just felt bad for her.
Our love interest, Bo. He’s mysterious. That typical guy from out of town who comes into town with a secret. We slowly learn more about him as Penny gets to know him. I really liked Bo. Though he was ignorant to the craziness that is the Swan Season in the town of Sparrow, he sticks it out to try to find the answers he’s looking for. He’s determined but finds himself caring for Penny and her island.
I liked the relationship between Penny and Bo. It wasn’t insta-lovey thank god. I can’t handle instalove relationships. There was definitely some infatuation on Penny’s part in the beginning. Their relationship had actual development which I liked. They were both keeping secrets but working together on the island to fix the orchard among other things gives them time to bond and talk and really get comfortable with one another. With this time spent together, they slowly start to open up and reveal their secrets to each other. I liked the pace of their relationship. It’s the same for the whole story. It’s paced nicely. The story flows well, giving us a smooth story that’s not rushed at the end to give us an ending or too slow in the beginning trying to give us all the background information we need.
Overall, I liked this book about as much as I expected to. I knew I was going to like this story just from the synopsis. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The unique storyline was one that I loved. It’s creative and unlike anything I’ve read before which is impressive because I’ve read quite a few books. The characters are relatable and real. They make you feel all the things and you can’t help but care about them. This was a fun read for sure and I’d recommend it to anyone that liked young adult books.

“Love is an enchantress—devious and wild. It sneaks up behind you, soft and gentle and quiet, just before it slits your throat.”

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!

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is top ten – Hidden Gems books that haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that I think deserve some recognition.
ttt1. Flamecaster (The Shattered Realms series) by Cinda Williams Chima – I love this series and this author. I just feel like I don’t really see her books advertised anywhere. I don’t see other bloggers talking about her books like I do. I definitely think she should be a more widely read author with the incredible worlds shes built full of diverse and loveable characters.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – This one I feel is always overlooked in favor of Vampire Academy. Because they’re part of the same world everyone turns to VA instead of talking about these books.
3. A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest – I found this series on my Kindle but it’s definitely one that I think more readers should try. The reviews vary but I think Forrest has built quite the reading adventure with this 50+ book series.
4. Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum – Buxbaum’s debut novel was so excellent. I thought I would hear more about it from my fellow bloggers. It makes me sad that I don’t hear more about it.
5. Sleeping Giants (Themis Files) by Sylvain Neuvel – I listened to this audiobook at the recommendation of a BookTuber (Thoughts on Tomes) but aside from the brief mention as one of her top audiobooks I haven’t hear others talk about this series. This is a mistake because Sleeping Giants was insane and amazing.
6. Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World) by P.C. Cast – I found this series outside of the blogging world. I haven’t heard a single blogger talk or write about this book/series. It’s a shame because they’re super interesting books with unique storylines and great character development. I can’t wait for the third to be released later this year.
7. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher – An older book, but still great. Creative and full of mystery. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about this story.
8. Talon by Julie Kagawa – While I see that her other series, The Iron Fey, get attention I never see bloggers reading this series.
9. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – See above comment.
10. Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan – With the superhero obsession that’s been going on the last few years I’m unsure how this series hasn’t made a bigger splash in the reading world.

What books do you love that you think deserve more attention?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

GoodReads Summary:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…
Review:
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is a well-known book in a series that is loved by many readers. I am one of those readers that loves this series. I read this book for the first time years and years ago. Since then I have read all of Clare’s other books as well. I’ve also had to get rid of my books and recollected the entire series once again. Since completing my recollection, along with the upcoming release of the newest book (Queen of Air and Darkness), I knew I wanted to reread all of her books so that the stories are fresh in my mind but also so that I can finally take the time to review them all.
I’m really glad that I decided to do this reread because I found that I had forgotten more than I thought I had. I remembered the basic storyline. Shadowhunters (created by the angels) keep the downworlders (werewolves, vampires, fairies, etc.) accountable for their actions and make sure they’re following the laws. They also hunt demons that manage to find their way into our world. The story is set in a realistic world with the fictitious world belonging to the shadowhunters skillfully interwoven with our own. Clare builds an incredible world that is somehow hidden alongside the real world. The world is believable and almost makes me question whether or not something like that could really exist, hidden from most people.
The characters that make up this story are something else. Clary is our main character. A girl who finds out that her mother has been hiding her true heritage from her to keep her safe from her psychotic father. Clary will always have a special place in my heart, but during this reread she kind of annoyed me a few times. When she finds out that there’s this whole other world out there she doesn’t hesitate for a second before involving herself in as much crap as she can. I understand one of her loved ones disappears, but she does this even before that happens. She gets herself into situations that she’s completely unprepared for and with this, puts the other’s she’s with in danger to appease what she wants. Other than this, Clary is determined and strong. Being thrown into the insanity that is the shadowhunter world, she does pretty well for herself. She’s smart and clever with a tendency to find herself in ridiculous situations but also to get herself out of these situations. She’s fiercely loyal and just a little reckless. All of these things combine for a very interesting girl.
Our love interest, Jace Wayland. He’s everything you want from a book boyfriend. Attractive but also standoffish and a little bit of a jerk. Dangerous and full of secrets. Mysterious but also makes himself vulnerable to Clary with his horrible past that’s left him a little damaged. I liked learning about Jace and seeing him open up to Clary throughout these pages. I’m excited to reread the rest of the books and read more about him to see what else I’ve forgotten.
There are too many supporting characters for me to name them all but I want to point out that there here. They each have such distinct personalities that we see shine through the background. They all play their own parts and add so much fun and craziness to the story. I loved that they are all fully developed and each has their own dramas going on outside of the main storyline. We get to see these characters grow and overcome their own personal struggles and I loved that.
The plot twists in this story were crazy. I knew what they were because I’ve read this before but they still snuck up on me. There were a few minor ones I’d forgotten too. Cassandra Clare is an excellent writer. I’m excited to continue the series.
If you haven’t read any of The Mortal Instruments books you are truly missing out. I had the pleasure of reading the 10th-anniversary edition and the illustrations were beautiful. I liked having this special edition because it just added that much more to the story. Overall, everyone should read these books. They take place in an amazing world with wonderful main characters and even better supporting characters. I’d recommend to anyone for sure.

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!

ABC Book Challenge |K|

Hello, Bookworms! This week we are talking about books with the letter K.

For those of you that are new here – each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A all the way through Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are sadly still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.’

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – K

Most Memorable Books

Amanda

Kings Cage by Victoria Aveyard – The third book in the Red Queen series. I’m currently rereading this series. So it’s memorable and on my TBR list as well.

Antonia

(The) Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts – This is one of my favorites of hers. It’s got badass women with great friendships, amazing romance, magic, mystery – basically it has everything I want from a story. I was actually thinking the other day that I’d like to reread this soon.

 

 

Books Still on Our TBR Lists

Amanda

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – The queen is releasing another book this fall. The final book in the Throne of Glass series. Another book that’s just going to destroy me mentally and emotionally.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – I’m so excited for this new duology that focuses on one of my favorite supporting characters, Nikolai.

Antonia

(The) Kingfountain series by Jeff Wheeler – I keep seeing this series on my kindle and have heard really good things about it.

 

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Goodreads summary:
Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?
It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.
In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Review:
Okay, I totally loved this story. I borrowed this book as an audiobook from my library because I liked the look of the cover. Then I read the book summary and thought it could be something I would like. I had doubts at first because I was really annoyed listening to the narrator reading the email addresses over and over and I almost DNF’d the book about 20% in. But I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t.
I LOVED Jessie. She’s a girl who’s trying to find herself. Her mom died and she’s trying to figure out how to continue living without the one woman that’s supposed to be there for her whole life. On top of all of this her dad has married a new woman, a complete stranger, and totally changed her life by making her move across the country. So this poor girl is still trying to figure out how to keep on living without her mother and also going to a new school where she doesn’t know anyone, living in a new house that doesn’t feel like her own, trying to figure out how to accept all these changes and be happy. I admire the crap out of Jessie for the strength she shows because I would have lost my freaking mind trying to deal with all of that at sixteen.
Enter “Somebody, Nobody.” This mysterious person who starts emailing Jessie with the advice of who to befriend, who to avoid, and how to survive at this crazy new school. I loved the idea of SN keeping an eye out for Jessie and helping her navigate this new school. Though about halfway through the story I just wanted to yell at him to TELL JESSIE WHO HE IS ALREADY. (We sadly don’t find out who SN is until Jessie does.) We are left guessing at the identity of SN for most of the book. I liked this a little because I spent most of the book arguing in my head with Jessie about whom she thinks SN is. That’s all I will say about SN except that I totally knew who it was and I’m SO HAPPY that SN is who I thought they were.
I think the family dynamic was written really well. I come from a pretty dysfunctional family. I have step parents and siblings and know how hard it is to adjust to having a new family living in one house and learning how all the different people work together and around one another. The family dynamic was written and portrayed accurately and I really liked that. I feel like there aren’t enough books that have stepfamilies and crazy broken, makeshift families that are outside of the norm of a mom and a dad or a single parent home.
I ended up really loving this book way more than I thought I was going to. I thought I would like it well enough, but I definitely loved it. There really is nothing negative to say about it aside from the annoyingness of reading the email addresses, but that’s only because it’s an audiobook. I adored the characters. They all played their own parts very well and each added something to the story. I loved the message that the story gave. Jessie learned so much about herself, but she also learned so much about how she treats others and what she deserves from life. I think this is an excellent young adult story and should be read by anyone and everyone.

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!