#SciFiMonth: If You Liked This, Then Read That

ARTWORK by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com.

Hey, lovelies! I did this sort of post for Blogtober and I thought it was so much fun to make, so I thought I would try it out for SciFi Month! Today I’m going to be giving book recommendations based on other books. These are all science fiction books that I enjoyed, but they vary in subgenre and age ranges. So, let’s get into my second edition of ‘if you liked this book, then try that one!

If you liked The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer then you should try Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor. The first book in The Lunar Chronicles follows Cinder, a cyborg, in a cinderella retelling of sorts. She finds herself involved with Prince Kai and suddenly she’s involved in intergalactic politics. Tarnished Are the Stars follows Anna who is known as ‘the Technician.’ She has an illegal clockwork heart and she supplies other people with illegal technology. She meets the Commissioner’s son, Nathaniel, who is determined to turn Anna in to his father. But when Nathaniel’s betrothed, Eliza, comes to Earth Adjacent, the three of them might just bring down the local government. These books were both so great. They both follow unlikely heroes that are excellent mechanics and somehow end up in a plot to overthrow the government.

If you liked The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff then you might like The Themis Files by Sylvain Neuvel. The first book in the series, Illuminae, follows Katy and Ezra after their world has been invaded and they’re forced to flee. Katy is an excellent hacker and manages to figure out what’s going on despite being told nothing. But the only person that she thinks can help her happens to be her ex-boyfriend, Ezra. Sleeping Giants is the first book in the series. It follows Rose, first when she’s a child and finds a giant robot hand, and almost twenty years later she’s a physicist leading a top-secret team that is researching the hand she discovered as a child. I’ve connected these two books for one big reason, they’re both told in a mixed media format. The first book is told in a series of emails, video transcripts, IMs, interviews, and other sorts of documents. The second book is told in mostly interview format with an anonymous interviewer. There are also radio broadcast transcripts and audio journal entries. Both series are told in mixed media. I think they’re similar in another aspect with the way the series progress. All three books The Illuminae Files are following three different couples. All three books in The Themis Files have a significant time jump between each book. Both series are also highly recommended for their audiobook format.

If you liked American Royals by Katharine McGee then you should try The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal. American Royals is a reality tv sort of story that is set in modern day, but the twist is that George Washington was made the King of America after the revolution. The story follows his modern day descendants. The Calculating Stars is a bit different. It’s also an alternate reality story. In the 1950s a meteorite falls to the Earth and destroyed a significant amount of the east coast, including Washington, DC. This causes all sorts of environmental issues leading the people to look to the moon as an alternative to live on. We follow Elma York as she realizes that she wants to be on the space mission and not just a calculator for NASA. The common link between these two recommendations are that they are alternate reality stories. But they are also both very much stories that focus on women. Elma wants to be a female astronaut which is unheard of and Beatrice is going to be the first Queen of America.

If you liked Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman then you will probably like Internment by Samira Ahmed. Dry is a story about when California runs out of water. The drought has been an issue for a while, but the taps run dry and the world gets dystopian like very quickly. Internment is set in a near future potential reality where Layla and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim Americans. Both stories are very dark. Dry is dark in a way where peoples survival instincts come out and how it would be to live in a world where it’s every person for themselves. The things people could do for the sake of survival is scary. Internment is a story about hate and how that hate can change the world as we know it. Both stories are filled with characters that aren’t ready to give up. Both stories had tears in my eyes and hope for a better world in my heart.

If you liked The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum you should try The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper. The Weight of the Stars tells the story of Ryann who dreams of being an astronaut. She’s accepted her reality and that this dream isn’t likely to happen. Enter Alexandria, a loner that does everything she can to avoid Ryann’s offer of friendship. Despite this, Alexandra joins Ryann’s chaotic friendship. This is a slow burn romance that focuses on the characters, their dreams, and their growth. The Gravity of Us is about Cal, a successful seventeen-years-old journalist who is forced to move from Brooklyn to Houston because his father was selected for an important NASA mission. Life in Houston is completely different, but when he befriends a fellow astronaut’s son, things start to look up. Just a disclaimer, these are both a bit more contemporary than science fiction, but they both have characters who’s life surrounds people that are currently in space or are about to be in space. Plus I thought it would be okay to have one for those that like the idea of science fiction without most of the sci-fi stuff. These are both that. They both have queer romances and talk about heavy topics in thoughtful and meaningful ways. I loved them both very much.

If you liked Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff you will probably like The Disasters by M.K. England. The tagline for Aurora Rising is “They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.” It follows six misfits as they discover secrets that the government is hiding and do their best to save the universe. The Disasters doesn’t have the same tagline, but it could. “They may not be “Academy material,” and they may not get along, but they’re the only ones left to step up and fight.” This book has a cast of five diverse disaster children that are the only ones that know the Academy has been attacked by a terrorist group. They need to stop this group and spread the truth before they can do worse than just take over the Academy. Both stories are a found family group that need to stop a big bad from taking over the universe. Through social media I’ve heard that many people are disappointed in Aurora Rising and it’s sequel, which is why I made this comparison because everything I wanted from Aurora Rising is what I got from The Disasters.

If you liked The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow you might like I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi. The Sound of Stars follows Ellie while she lives in New York City, which is a city controlled by aliens. When one of those aliens, MoRr1S (Morris), finds her hidden (and illegal) library he’s supposed to report her except he doesn’t. The two end up on a road trip, sharing music and books, on their way to try to save humanity. I Hope You Get This Message follows three characters, who are all doing what they need to in what they think may be their final week of life. Earth has received a message from another planet saying that they have one week before they end civilization. Jesse, Cate, and Adeem have only a week to right wrongs and face truths before the world ends. These books are different in the sense that the first had already been invaded by aliens and the second isn’t being invaded but seems to be an expirement of these aliens, one that has been decided a failure and needs to be terminated. The common factors of these books are roadtrips between people that don’t know one another very well, but end up with very strong relationships. Both stories are also filled with diverse and fascinating characters.

If you liked Dune by Frank Herbert you should try Mirage by Somaiya Daud. Dune follows Paul after his father takes him to an ‘inhospitable’ world where the only thing of value is the spice that is produced on this planet. When his family is betrayed, Paul and his mother set out into the desert with one goal, survive, and eventually return and retake the planet that should be under Paul’s rule. Mirage follows Amani after she’s kidnapped so that she can be the body double of the half-Vathek princess, Maram. The Vath have conquered Amani’s planet and with her new place within the palace she wants to see if she can find a way to free her people. I chose these two books because Dune is a really well known book that deals with overtaking planets, learning about the culture of said planet and then Paul trying to do better than those before him. But Mirage is all of those things with a strong female lead written by an author of color who drew from her own heritage. Mirage is an incredible story that more people should read. If you liked the concept of Dune but don’t want to read that huge book, Mirage is only 320 pages and every page is incredibly written, diverse, and filled with an incredible world.

If you liked Renegades by Marissa Meyer you might like The Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune. Renegades follows Nova (a villain) while she infiltrates Renegade Headquarters and tries to find weaknesses to bring them down. She lives in a world of prodigies, one much different from our own. Vengeance is her motivation, but things become less and less clear as the series progresses. The Extraordinaries follows Nick, a queer teen with ADHD who is one of the most popular fan fiction writers in the Extraordinary fandom. Nick idolizes one Extraordinary in particular and after he meets this hero, Nick decides he wants to make himself an Extraordinary. These stories are both in the superhero realm of science fiction. They different in the sense of the worlds they take place in. Renegades is in a world where it’s completely changed from our world while The Extraordinaries is mostly our world, but with a few rare individuals that have superpowers. But both stories follow characters that might not be on the best path. I really enjoyed both stories that were filled with interesting abilities and characters I couldn’t help but love.

If you liked Year One by Nora Roberts you will probably like The Fever King by Victoria Lee. Year One follows a cast of characters as the world ends via a sickness that spreads unbelievably fast and those that recover are left with gifts. There are some that are immune, but the world descends into chaos as the world as we know it ends. This cast of characters must figure out a new beginning now that the world has come to an end. In The Fever King, Noam lives in what used to be the U.S. He’s caught the sickness and is the sole survivor of his family. He’s also left with the gift of technopathy. Noam gets recruited into what’s basically a military of people that have survived the sickness and now have abilities. Noam joins with hopes to change the way the world has become. He wants to fight for what is right. Both of these stories deal with how the world can change once it ends. They both have the world ending with some sort of sickness and that sickness results with some people having special abilities. I really enjoyed them both.

I ended up finding way more books than I intended, but I was having too much fun and just sort of went with it. So, here you have it. Ten comparisons and twenty books total. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and agree or disagree with my pairings.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

#SciFiMonth – Diverse Science Fiction

ARTWORK by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com.

Hi, lovelies! I was inspired by a friends post from last year’s #SciFiMonth and wanted to do my own version. Kal from Reader Voracious did a post about diverse YA science fiction last year and I thought of so many books I could do for my own version. So, thanks to Kal for the inspiration and let’s get right into it. I’m going to list them by age range, starting with middle grade.

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee: This story was a mix of Korean folklore, science fiction, and a bit of magic. We follow Min, who has fox-magic (which is thought to no longer be around). She sets out to find her brother and ends up way over her head. I really enjoyed this book. I’ve loved all of the stories that have been published through Rick Riordan Presents. I loved the combination of things that made this story what it was. It’s definitely one I’ll be adding to my daughters library. Also, the audiobook was great.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez: This is my second favorite of the books that have come from Rick Riordan Presents. Sal is a boy who lives in Miami. He has diabetes, but he also has the ability to create holes in the universe. Sal is a little firecracker, but Gabi is even more so. They both come from fascinating families that I couldn’t help but adore. Sal and his father are Cuban and that is a big part of the story too. Sal and Gabi team up to try to fix the holes he’s created in the universe. Sal is also grieving his Mami. I think this is such a great middle grade story.

The Fever King by Victoria Lee: In what used to be the U.S. a magical virus has infected some, leaving them with magical abilities, and most others dead. Noam gets sick and wakes up in the hospital as a technopath. This attracts interest from government officials in ways that Noam isn’t sure he likes. This story gets pretty wild even though the fries 15% or so is pretty slow. Noam is bisexual, Colombian, and Jewish. This story is full of grey morals and I really enjoyed it.

The Disasters by M.K. England: This disastrous found family is one of my all time favorites. Nax is bisexual and comes from a Muslim family. He’s made mistakes and has a lot of self-doubts, but it was really great to see him overcome it. Then there’s Rion who is black, queer, and British. He’s the son of a diplomat, so he always knows exactly what to say. I loved the flirtations and hints of a potential romance between Rion and Nax. It was just enough that it didn’t take center stage over the rest of the story. Case is the third point of the sort of, but not really, love triangle. She’s super smart and struggles with anxiety. Next up is Zee, who is trans, and a kick-ass doctor who will literally kick your ass. Finally, there’s Asra, who is Muslim and we see her wearing a hijab and taking time to pray. She’s also the stepkid of a crime boss that she wants to take down. They essentially have to take down the government and it’s wonderful.

The Extraordinaries by T.J. Klune: “A queer coming-of-age story about a fanboy with ADHD and the heroes he loves.” Nick lives in a world where ‘extraordinaries’ exist, people with special abilities. After he meets his idol, he’s decided he needs to do whatever he can to become an extraordinary. This book was so wonderful. It highlights the ADHD experience, friendship, fan fiction writing, and many other important things.

Mirage by Somaiya Daud: Amani is kidnapped to play body double to the cruel half Vathek princess, Maram. Too much happens in this series for me to summarize. Amani is amazing. Her romance is great. Maram is horrible at first but has great development. I ended the series really loving her. They both get romances, one of which is female/female. I believe it’s also inspired from Moroccan culture. This one is going to make my 2020 favorites list (and the audiobooks are great!)

Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor: This book is compared to The Lunar Chronicles often, but it’s honestly better (and I really liked that series). Set in a world called Earth Adjacent (because technology destroyed Earth) we follow The Technician who illegally helps people with mechanic work. Then the Commissioner’s son, Nathaniel, finds a lead to the Technician’s identity. Things get a little wild here with overthrowing the government and an arranged marriage. Eliza, the Queen’s spy, comes to Earth Adjacent and things get even more exciting. There’s a romance between two female characters that I completely adored.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: Get ready to be confused. I was confused for the entire series and despite that I enjoyed the shit out of this book. I’m going to talk about all three books. The writing was incredible. There are several perspectives we follow and they are all written so well. There’s one that’s written in second person and it was such an interesting way to tell the story. The characters draw you in and the world is incredible. I just cannot say enough good things about this series. I’m hoping to read the rest of Jemisin’s backlist titles in 2021.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers: This series is such a fun one. Each book follows a different set of characters. This universe is so interesting. There are so many different species. It was such a treat to learn about them all. Some are very specific about gender roles and how they change as the species age. I think this book did a wonderful job of showing a unique, interesting, and diverse universe.

These are some of my favorite diverse science fiction books for all different age ranges. They’re all diverse for different reasons and they’re all wonderful books that I highly recommend. What diverse books would you recommend?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

#SciFiMonth – Audiobook Recommendations

ARTWORK by Tithi Luadthong from 123RF.com.

Hi, lovelies! As a huge fan of audiobooks, I always try to share my favorite audiobooks so that others will love them as much as I do. Science fiction has some books with really great narrations.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel: The audiobooks for this trilogy are nothing short of perfection. It’s a full cast narration and the story is just so good. There’s an anonymous interviewer asking the characters questions, but there’s also radio broadcasts, and audio journal entries. This is an all-time favorite forever.

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir: This is a dual narrator audiobook. I loved this story. Six teenagers are chosen and trained to go into space to terraform a new world. The narrators did a great job of brining these characters to life.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer: The narrator of this series is my all time favorite narrator. I will listen to everything she narrates. She really gives the characters emotions. I am awed by Rebecca Soler’s narrating skills. She really blew me away with this series.

Mirage by Somaiya Daud: I also have to mention the sequel, Court of Lions, because it’s narrated by the same person as the first book. This series is incredible and the narrator kept me drawn into the story the whole way through. I’m really glad I listened to the audio, otherwise I would have butchered literally all of the names of everything.

Internment by Samira Ahmed: This book was devastating. The narrator did a really great job making me feel all of the things while listening. There were also some interesting effects that added to the story.

These are my favorite science fiction audiobooks. What audiobooks are on your list?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Twenty-Three: Backlist Book Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! This list is all books that I’ve been wanting to recommend but couldn’t manage to find a way to include them in any of the other recommendations posts so far this month. There are quite a few books on this list, so I’m not going into overly long descriptions or reasons why you should read them. I just want to do a quick list post with maybe a sentence for two for each book.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – Confusing and magical and a love story to literature.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo – Dark and gritty. Yale but with magic.

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – A girl that lives near a creepy, maybe magical, forrest.

Broken Things by Lauren Oliver – Did they murder their best friend? Or is there something else going on?

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig – Twelve Dancing Princesses retelling, but make it sort of horror.

The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black – Interesting twist on vampires. Also sort of dystopian.

Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter – Summer camp for supernaturals.

My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows – Jane Eyre but with ghosts.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl – A girl meets with old friends and they all die.

The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman – Four family’s with supernatural powers basically fail at protecting their town.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Unreliable narrator with memory loss and something about a fire.

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand – An evil rock, queer girls, and creepy legends.

When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry – Maybe aliens have arrived on Earth? Let’s YouTube it.

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes – A girl in denial about her mother’s death and a boy who may or may not fail out of school adventure to find out truths about the past.

So, these are some books that I think would be perfect to read this October but couldn’t figure out how to put them in any other list. These are all books that I really enjoyed and have read during past spooky seasons. Just making this list makes me want to reread them all. What backlist books are on your list for spooky season recommendations?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Twenty (Part Two): Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday: Books Recommended to Me

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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. This week’s topic is a list of books I read because someone recommended them to me (and who recommended them!)

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakroborty

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Rules for Being A Girl by Candace Bushnell and Katie Cotugno

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Rinn Solomon

Get a Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

These are all the books Amanda recommended for me. What recent recommendations have you gotten?

Blogtober Day Twenty (Part One): Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Books Recommended to Me

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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 Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me (tell us who recommended them, if you want!)

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The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
My good friend Adrianna recommended this over and over and I’m so glad that she did. You can find her on twitter here!

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
I loved this book so so much. I’m so glad that I watched one of Riley Marie’s vlogs (watch here!) where she read this book and loved it.

Rules for Being a Girl by Candice Bushnell & Katie Cotugno
Forever thankfully to my Twinny for coming at me with the best recommendations. Check out her blog, The Bookish Chick, for some great reviews.

For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig
Paige (find her on Twitter here!) raved about this book. I’d previously read and enjoyed one of Heilig’s books and I bought this one to get signed at an event I saw her at. But Paige is the reason I actually picked it up.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
I was at the point of almost unhauling this before even reading it (while trying to cull my physical TBR to a less overwhelming number) but the way that Heathur from Aphrodite Reads absolutely raved about it had me rethinking that. I’m so glad I kept and read it because it was incredible.

There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool
My best bean got this book for me and I am eternally grateful. Check out Avhlee @ Tea Cups and Torn Pages, you won’t regret it. This, so far, hold the space for my favorite book of 2020.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
This one was fabulous and I liked Thorne’s second book even better. Big thanks to Chelseadollingreads.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
This is a wonderful book that is horrifyingly underrated. I wish more people knew about this series. It’s basically Percy Jackson but with Chinese Folklore and every second was nothing but enjoyable. Also, I listened to the audiobooks which I highly recommend. The only other person who I’ve seen talk about this series (and she’s why I discovered the second book was out) is Books in the Skye.

Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller
Another amazing book that I only read because of my dear friend, Avhlee.

This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada
My wonderful friend Rae (find her at Novels & Notions) bought this book for me and I am so so glad because this trilogy earned a place in my all-time favorites list.

What books have you read because of someone else and ended up loving them? I’d love to see your post this week!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Seventeen: Audiobook Recommendations

Hey, lovelies! I was running out of ideas for Blogtober posts and then an idea hit me: audiobooks that are perfect for the spooky season. I am a huge fan of audiobooks and I’ve listened to some really great ones recently. So, let’s get right into it and talk about some books that are creepy and I would absolutely recommend they be listened to this October.

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power: This is a book about a girl who runs away from her mother to find her grandmother. She arrived at her grandmothers and the longer she’s there the more she realizes there are secrets that she needs to uncover. Here family has been hiding things from her and she’s determined to learn the truth. I was gifted this audiobook for my birthday and it was wonderfully creepy. I seriously couldn’t listen to it too late at night or I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. The story itself is pretty creepy and weird, but the narrator does an incredible job of adding to the suspense and emotion of the story.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust: An incredible fantasy story that’s based on Persian mythology and various fairytales. The story follows a princess that is poisonous to the touch. She is determined to find a cure which leads her to working with a Div that’s been captured. There’s romance and mystery and horrifyingly wonderful monsters. The narrator for this book did a wonderful job. I really enjoyed the narration. Between the accents and the emotion the narrator gave the characters, this book is a great one for October. It’s a story full of monsters, but also one of love and self discovery.

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin: If you like retellings that are set in modern times, you’ll probably like this one. We follow Cleveland as she moves to a new town, the town where her best friend lives. Her best friend, Henry, has dated a lot of girls. The weird part? Two of them are dead now. This story was great. The mystery of what really happened to these girls was excellent. The characters are very lovable even while you’re suspecting them of murder. I really enjoyed the audiobook of this story.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson: I have to say the narrator for this series (Kate Rudd) is one of my all time favorites. So, please go read this series on audio. This is a boarding school mystery. It’s not your typical boarding school. Years ago the founders wife and daughter were kidnapped and are now presumed dead. Our main character, Stevie, now attends the school and is obsessed with solving the murders and to find out what really happened. This is the perfect series for the spooky season.

Sadie by Courtney Summers: I don’t even want to explain what this book is about because it’s been so hyped up on the bookish internet places. This audiobook is incredible. We follow Sadie as she goes out to investigate what happened after her younger sister is found dead. We also follow Sadie in a podcast. We get alternating perspectives from Sadie and also from the Podcast. The audioboook is incredible because it’s actually narrated like a podcast. I cannot recommend this enough.

These are five audiobooks I think would be perfect choices to listen to in October. They’re all creepy and mysterious. They’re all filled characters that are fascinating. Secrets and mysteries are what these stories are about and their narrators really bring life to them. What audiobooks are you planning to listen to for the spooky season?

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Day Sixteen: Graphic Novel Recommendations

Hi, lovelies! Today I want to recommend some graphic novels. Some of these recommendations are repeats from last year, but I’ve been slacking on my graphic novel reading, so I don’t have many new ones to recommend. I’m just going to go for it becasue I still stand by the fact that I want others to read them.

Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth: Witchy, diverse, and mysterious. Screams spooky season to me.

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1: The Faust Act by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson: Gods being reincarnated, but only for two years. Diverse cast of characters and stunning (but gory) artwork.

Moonstruck Vol 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis: Diverse as hell. Werewolves, centaurs, seers, witches, vampires? Yes, please!

Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia & Gabriel Picolo: Raven’s powers are more on the magical spectrum and this is a pretty spooky mystery.

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu: I adored this one. Witches and werewolves, mystery, and a female/female romance? I’m here for it.

These are the graphic novels that I’ve read and would recommend for spooky season graphic novel reading. What books would you put on you list? Leave me some of your own recommendations in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – 2019 Discoveries

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 – Bookish discoveries I made in 2019

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I made many bookish discoveries this year. From audiobooks to BookTube, my reading life has changed for the better. This week though, I’ll be talking about five books I discovered through Book Twitter and five books I discovered through BookTube.

BookTube Books:

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (via Blonde with a Book)

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman (via Princess of Paperback)

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig (via Aphrodite Reads)

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis (via Chelsea Dolling Reads)

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence (via Thoughts on Tomes)

Book Twitter Books:

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Let’s Call it a Doomsday by Katie Henry

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

These are just a handful of the incredible books I’ve discovered this year thanks to the wonderful creators on BookTube and the amazing friends I’ve made on book twitter. What bookish discoveries have you made in 2019? Let me know in the comments!

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Day Nineteen: Retelling Edition

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Hello, lovelies! There are so many good books to be read during the spooky season. So, all month long I’m coming to share some suggestions for all the different genres. Today’s genre is retellings. But, we’re going to talk about dark retellings, as is fitting for Spooktober. Books that are a little creepy or a bit horrifying, or maybe even scary. Let’s get into it!

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
This is the story of Cinderella’s step-sisters. Cinderella gets her happy ending, but what about the sisters that were so terrible to her?

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
For the Little Mermaid fans out there, here’s one that might give you some nightmares. Flesh-eating mermaids, murderous sirens, and a princess that steals the hearts of princes…by ripping them from their chests.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
This Sherlock Holmes retelling was so different from what I expected. Dark and gritty, covering heavy topics while also providing a fun and suspenseful mystery. A must-read.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
The Twelve Dancing Princesses was one of my favorite fairytales when I was a kid. So, getting this retelling was a dream come true. It was dark and twisted and everything I wanted for the spooky season.

Beastly by Alex Flinn
This one is for those Beauty and the Beast lovers. While it’s not the darkest retelling on the list. There are witches and wintery goodness.

Darkwood by Gabby Hutchinson Crouch
I didn’t love this book. But I know others have. It’s a compilation of all the different fairytales, dark and full of adventure.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
I did not love this Snow White retelling, but I know others that have. The twist on the original story was a bit darker than I’d anticipated and I did enjoy the female/female romance.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
This novelization of the Norse myths was a fun read. I enjoyed seeing them from the understanding of the author.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
Do I even need to say anything about this one?

What dark retellings did you love? Let me know in the comments any that I forgot or maybe haven’t read yet.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Book Tag – 20 Questions

This book tag was created by Buydebook but I found it done by the wonderful Sumedha at The Wordy Habitat. Feel free to go check out their pages! We’re going to dive right into this week’s book tag.

1. How many books is too many books in a series? 

Amanda- I don’t believe that this is a thing. I’ve read the Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. I think she just released book number sixty or sixty-one in this series. I guess it depends on the series though because there were entirely too many books in the House of Night series. I’m going to say six is a good amount and if there are more books than that you better be able to keep my interest.

Antonia- It absolutely depends on the series. The Redwall series by Brian Jacques has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. It ended with twenty-two books and I don’t think that’s too many; however, it doesn’t just follow one character. The series follows the history of the world Jacques created with very little character crossover between books. Some of them have centuries between the timelines so a lot of books works because it’s all so different. Books with other formats (like The House of Night) can start to feel redundant after only a few books.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers? 

Amanda- They’re fine as long as I have the next book ready and waiting for me to read it. But if I have to wait a year or more for the next book I’m definitely going to just perish.

Antonia- I have lots of mixed feelings. On the one hand, good cliffhangers tear our hearts out and make us that much more invested with the characters and story; on the other hand, ARE YOU KIDDING ME I NEED THE NEXT BOOK RIGHT NOW.

3. Hardcover or Paperback?

Amanda- Hardcover. They’re more solid. Longer lasting. Prettier (usually).

Antonia- Surprisingly enough, paperback. I agree, hardcovers are usually prettier but they’re harder to read, physically. I can hold a paperback with one hand, but not usually hardcovers. They also take up less space which means room for more books.

4. Favorite book?

Amanda- For a standalone, Looking for Alaska by John Green, will always be my answer. For a series, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas is holding its own as number one on my list.

Antonia- Too many. My usual answers are: The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, Beastly by Alex Flinn, and The Witness by Nora Roberts.

5. Least favorite book?

Amanda- I haven’t posted this review yet, but I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman was an audiobook I finished recently and I almost stopped listening halfway through. I wouldn’t say that I have a book that I disliked so much that it sticks in my brain as least favorite though.

Antonia- I don’t usually think too much about books I didn’t like after the fact. The one that tends to pop into my head though is Fallen by Lauren Kate. I really didn’t like any part of this book and never finished the rest of the series.

6. Love Triangles – Yes or No?

Amanda- No. The only love triangle that doesn’t absolutely infuriate me is the one between Stephanie, Joe, and Ranger in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich.

Antonia- NO. NO. NO.

7. What’s the most recent book you just couldn’t finish? 

Amanda- See above question #5. I don’t often DNF books, I usually just never end up reading them.

Antonia- Tequila and Tea Bags by Laura Barnard. I couldn’t connect with the protagonist in even the tiniest way.

8. What are you currently reading?

Amanda- As I type this I am listening to Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, but I’m also in the middle of Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (an eARC I received from NetGalley) and Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira on my Kindle.

Antonia- The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. Amanda and my mom both had amazing things to say about this series.

9. What’s the last book you recommended to someone? 

Amanda- Without a doubt, one hundred percent, no hesitation I have been shouting from the rooftops about my newfound love for Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel. Such a great story, I just couldn’t stop listening.

Antonia- I recommended Die For Me by Amy Plum to Amanda. It was a really interesting idea, executed very well.

10. What’s the oldest book you’ve read? 

Amanda- I had to check my booklist for this one and have determined Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling wins. But this is probably wrong, I just can’t think of any others that are almost as old as me right now.

Antonia- Ummm… I have no idea. I’ve read a lot of classics and I don’t exactly look up when they’re written. I’m going to assume it’s The Iliad and The Odyssey though.

11. What’s the newest book you’ve read? 

Amanda- Newest finished book would be One Small Thing by Erin Watt, but I’m currently almost finished with Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (thanks NetGalley!) that hasn’t been released yet.

Antonia- I think it’s Crime of Magic by Linsey Hall. It just came out in May.

12. Who is your favorite author?

Amanda- Just one? Yeah right.

John Green
Nora Roberts
Sarah J. Maas
Janet Evanovich
Ellen Hopkins
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Leigh Bardugo
Denise Grover Swank
Cinda Williams Chima
Cassandra Clare

Antonia- Oh boy. A lot.

John Green
Nora Roberts
Sarah J. Maas
Cinda Williams Chima
Richelle Mead
Mercedes Lackey
Brian Jacques
J.K. Rowling
J.R.R. Tolkien
C.S. Lewis
Jennifer L. Armentrout

I could literally go on forever.

13. Buying books or borrowing?

Amanda-have to buy certain books. Like anything by any of the authors I listed above. I’m okay with borrowing especially when it comes to new books, but if I love it enough I might buy it so I can reread it and make highlights and what not.

Antonia- Well I definitely prefer buying books. I think we’d all love to have never-ending libraries. But money tends to be an issue so I’m okay with borrowing books too.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seems to love?

Amanda- This is hard because I don’t dislike books very often. I’m going to have to go with any of the classics. Jane Austen’s books specifically are so well loved and I’ve never been able to read them.

Antonia- I could never get into Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. I like the show but always struggled with the books.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Amanda- Don’t fight me, but both. If there’s something within reach that I can throw in my book that’s great, but if not I usually have no problem dog-earring the book (unless it’s brand new and still super nice).

Antonia- Definitely both. I never dog-ear with books I don’t own and I try to be better with pretty, new hardcovers but just the other day I dog-eared a page and from across the room my husband goes, “Did you just dog-ear that book?! What is wrong with you, you monster?!”

16. What’s a book that you can always reread?

Amanda- Just one book? Not likely. I can pretty much reread anything because I have a terrible memory. Like I’ve gotten books from the library thinking that they’re books I’ve never read and then I get halfway through and realize that I’ve read it before.

Antonia- As usual, I agree with Amanda. I absolutely LOVE rereading books. It’s like hanging out with old friends. It never gets boring for me.

17. Can you read while listening to music?

Amanda- There are people that can read without listening to music? I need some sort of background noise that isn’t something I will be distracted by.

Antonia- Yes, Amanda, there are. I actually have trouble doing most things while listening to music. Except cleaning since it doesn’t require much focus. But I can’t read or sleep or write reviews while music’s playing. I get so distracted by the songs that I can’t concentrate.

18. Single P.O.V. or multiple P.O.V’s?

Amanda- It depends completely on the story. I like multiple when the story is more complex because I get a better idea of the world and what’s really going on in it.

Antonia- Definitely depends on the story but I love both fairly equally.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Amanda- Again, this completely depends on the story. If it’s a super good story that has me hooked I won’t stop until I’ve finished (as long as everything in the rest of my life allows for that). Bigger, more in-depth books tend to be read over multiple days because I have to read it slower to fully grasp everything going on.

Antonia- ^Agreed. With A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, I stayed up until two in the morning finishing it (and yelling at my husband every time he interrupted me), until I remembered that I had to wake up early for once. With other books, I can put them down and be a responsible adult with no problem.

20. One book you read because of the cover?

Amanda- Again, just one book?

Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Girl in Pieces Kathleen Glasgow
And I Darken by Kiersten White

Antonia- Just recently I got The Revenants series by Amy Plum and The Everneath Trilogy by Brodi Ashton specifically for the gorgeous dresses on the covers.

If you’re reading this post, we tag you! Feel free to play 20 questions, or not. Tag us if you do! Thanks for reading bookworms!