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!