Blogtober Book Review: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

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GoodReads Summary:
There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from acclaimed author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books, This Savage Song is a must-have for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.
Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives. In This Savage Song, Victoria Schwab creates a gritty, seething metropolis, one worthy of being compared to Gotham and to the four versions of London in her critically acclaimed fantasy for adults, A Darker Shade of Magic. Her heroes will face monsters intent on destroying them from every side—including the monsters within.
This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)Review:
This Savage Song was a wild ride. It was fast-paced and everything I never knew I wanted in a book. I went into the story with as little expectations as possible. I’m glad I did because I ended up really enjoying it. It would have been a five-star read aside from the questions I was left with.
Kate was everything I could have wanted in a kickass female main character. She doesn’t take shit from anyone and does whatever needs to be done to reach her goals. I loved everything about her. She’s smart and fierce. I am very interested in what she does in the next book.
Then there is August, poor sweet August. He’s one of the rarest of the monsters. But he fights his nature every day. He’s good at heart, despite what he really is. I was really intrigued by August. He’s complex with how he feels. He loves his siblings even though he knows they are not all there. He loves his mother and father, and really just wants to do whatever he can to help in the never-ending fight against the monsters.
Once Kate and August meet, things get exciting. Seeing them try to figure out how to trust one another was beyond interesting.
The only complaint I have is that I still have so many questions about the monsters. I’m still not totally sure how they are created. Are they a whole new being? Or are they the person that sinned turned monster? I’m eager to get into the next book and learn more.
Overall, I loved this book. The world was fascinating. The characters were complex and held my attention. There was so much more to this story that seems to be outside of my ability to articulate at the moment. But I loved it. That’s all.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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Blogtober Book Review: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

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GoodReads Summary:
On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer, days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.
On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.
Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries…
What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?
In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
The Walls Around UsReview:
I’ve been on a thriller/mystery kick for the spooky season. I’ve also been attempting to make a big dent in my physical TBR, so I’ve only been choosing books I bought a million years ago. This is one of those.
I was really interested in this book for the first half. It was mysterious and suspenseful, but also a little weird. I liked that it was weird. But by the end of the book, I still had no idea what had gone on. The characters were interesting and kept up the pace of the story pretty well. The characters were mostly well developed, and I enjoyed the few different perspectives the story was told through.
I’ve waited too long to write this review. So, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. I enjoyed most of this book. It was weird, I think in a good way. But it wasn’t anything that blew me away. A fun read for this time of year.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp

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GoodReads Summary:
Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. When Corey moves away, she makes Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return.
Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones about the town’s lost daughter, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.
Corey knows something is wrong. With every hour, her suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets―chilling secrets. But piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter…
Before I Let GoReview:
This one was a miss for me. I was really interested in the first fifty pages or so, but after that, I found myself whispering, ‘what the fuck’ way too many times. I thought I was going to get an interesting and maybe creepy murder mystery. We got that, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. I had high hopes because of the bits of diversity that were included, but it just all around was not good for me.
I’ve put off writing this review for so long that I don’t have any specific things that I’d like to talk about, so I’ll just leave this short and sweet. I liked it at first, but after fifty to one hundred pages, it just started downhill and dumped me at the bottom of the said hill in the final pages.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

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Summary:
Magneto and Professor X.
Superman and Lex Luthor.
Sydney and Serena Clarke.
Victor Vale and Eli Ever.
Great partnerships, now soured on the vine.
But Marcella Riggins needs no one. Flush from her brush with death, she’s finally gained the control she’s always sought—and will use her newfound power to bring the city of Merit to its knees. She’ll do whatever it takes, collecting her own sidekicks, and leveraging the two most infamous Eos, Victor Vale and Eli Ever, against each other once more.
With Marcella’s ride, new enmities create opportunities—and the stage of Merit will once again be set for a final, terrible reckoning.
Vengeful (Villains, #2)Review:
Let’s talk about disappointment. I loved the first book, Vicious, but this sequel was not what I wanted. I didn’t like the ending at all. But let’s back up and start with the things I did like about the book.
I loved the fast pace that never slowed. I wanted to fly through this story. I ate it up, dying to know how things were going to end. I loved the way that the chapters were set up. They go back and forth between years ago, months ago, weeks ago, and hours ago. I think this was a really interesting way to tell the story. We get the characters history and learn more about them. Though, I wanted to learn more about Victor.
I really liked the insight we got into Eli’s past. We learn how he became the way that he is. I thought that was a great addition to the story. It added some humanity to this villain. Then there’s our newest villain, Marcella. She was a lady I could get behind. She’s got big dreams and doesn’t give a damn who tries to stand in her way. Of course, there’s the original crew, Victor and Sydney and Mitch. Sydney is my favorite and I hope to see big things from her in the future. I think she is constantly underestimated. Mitch is a big softie and I love him. But he’s also the brains which makes me adore him even more. Victor was a little annoying because he’s on a search for something, but never manages to find it.
Now, the ending. I did not like this. It was left so open ended and nothing was concluded. It wasn’t until I finished this book and checked GoodReads that I realized there was going to be another book in the series. So, I was sad not to have all of the loose ends tied up.
Overall, I still enjoyed reading this. I mostly just wanted Victor and Eli to make up and be best friends again the whole time. I cannot wait to see what will happen in the next book.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Summary:
The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…
A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering
And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.
Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)Review:
Aurora Rising is the latest science fiction release from the wonderful and talented writing duo, Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. I have been living for science fiction lately and I don’t know why it took me so long to get to this new release. I’ve heard so many mixed reviews from friends that I trust so I was a little nervous going into it.
I’m happy to say that I fall somewhere in the middle of the mix. I really had fun with this. I flew through it, holding my breath, and gripping the pages. I was frustrated at first because none of my questions were being answered. I was so confused about what the hell was going on. We got a sufficient amount of answers for my liking and that’s where the story took a direction I did not see coming. I cannot wait to see what will happen in book number two.
This squad has been dubbed as ‘not the heroes we wanted, but they’re the ones we got’ and that right there had me very intrigued. I think there was not enough development to some of the characters. There was an uneven distribution between the alternating chapters.
The Alpha, Tyler. I really liked him. He’s a great leader and follows his instincts. I really enjoyed seeing him fight with himself between doing what he’s ‘supposed’ to do and what he feels inside to be right. He was what pulled the squad together. Without him, they would have failed.
The Diplomat, Scarlett. Tyler’s twin sister. She was totally my favorite. She’s sassy and fierce and takes no shit from anyone. She always knows the right thing to say and trusts her brother completely even when she’s not sure what he’s thinking. I enjoyed the brother/sister relationship between them.
The Scientist, Zila. She’s one that I wished had a bit more development. We know that she’s weird and incredibly smart. But that’s about it. Oh, and she’s awfully fond of her gun. I would have liked to know more about her, her past, what makes her who she is.
The Gearhead, Finian. I adored him. He’s bisexual (I think) and shoots his shot whenever the opportunity shows itself. He’s also incredibly smart. I loved that despite having a physical disability, he has a fully developed personality. He wasn’t just his disability or just his sexual identity. He was the comedic relief of the squad and I loved him.
The Warrior, Kal. I also loved Kal. He’s fighting a battle with himself. I would have liked to learn more about him outside of who he is as a part of his culture. He’s part of an alien race that’s currently at war and we learned a lot about him in that context, but I want to know more about him in general.
The Pilot, Cat. I really didn’t like Cat for most of the book. I really thought she would betray the squad at the first chance she got. She joined this squad to support her best friend, Tyler, who she’s in love with. She’s a negative Nancy and I didn’t care for it. But she’s really good at her job which I liked. I came to like her a little more by the end of the book and that’s completely due to actions that I cannot talk about without spoilers.
The Mystery Girl, Aurora or Auri. Auri was my favorite. A girl that was frozen for over 200 years and is trying to figure out what the hell is going on. She’s a wild card because she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know and she doesn’t know much. What she does know seems to be surrounded by mystery and secrets. I wish we’d gotten to learn a bit more about her abilities and what those abilities mean.
Overall, I enjoyed Aurora Rising but I didn’t love it. I really liked it because it was unique, complex, and fast-paced. I loved the mystery and suspense. The world was interesting and I just wanted to know more about it. I will be anxiously awaiting the next book and not so patiently waiting to find out what the heroes we were given will get up to.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Summary:
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates–brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Vicious (Villains, #1)Review:
I’m down to my final two books for the BookTube SFF Awards and they are Vicious and Vengeful. After finishing Vicious, I’m extremely excited to read the sequel and see where things end up for these characters.
I enjoyed this book so much more than I was expecting to. I’ve heard quite a few vague synopses and I’m glad that it was left vague. I’m glad I didn’t know anything going into the story. The plot was fast paced and exciting. I was dying with the suspense between knowing what was going to happen and finding out what had happened in the past. I really think Schwab did an incredible job with the flashbacks and alternating chapters in this book.
The characters were my favorite part. Victor was fascinating. Dark and mysterious, with a past we waited to learn. His only motivation was revenge. He was darker than I expected. His powers, his motivations, but he also had a kind heart. You could tell by the strays that he acquired. He was compelling and though we learned most of his history I feel like we could have learned more through other interactions, but we learned what was necessary to the story. I would have liked to see what he was like around his parents or something like that.
Mitch was the big lump. He was the one that everyone assumed was the muscle when he was actually the brains. I loved this. He defied the stereotype of being big and dumb, though being smart didn’t seem to keep him out of trouble. He also has a huge heart and I just adored him, especially his interactions with Sydney.
Then there’s Sydney. I wasn’t sure of her role in the story for a while, but it made sense once we learned her history. I wished that she had played a bigger role aside from her ability because I really liked her.
Our Villain, Eli, was so likable at first and then so hateable by the end. That’s really it, I don’t want to say more. I hated him. I also hated Serena, Sydney’s sister.
Overall, I enjoyed this way more than I anticipated and I cannot wait to get into the next book to see where things end up.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Blogtober Book Review: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

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GoodReads Summary:
A teenage misfit named Hawthorn Creely inserts herself in the investigation of missing person Lizzie Lovett, who disappeared mysteriously while camping with her boyfriend. Hawthorn doesn’t mean to interfere, but she has a pretty crazy theory about what happened to Lizzie. In order to prove it, she decides to immerse herself in Lizzie’s life. That includes taking her job… and her boyfriend. It’s a huge risk — but it’s just what Hawthorn needs to find her own place in the world.
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie LovettReview:
The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett was on my Spooky Season TBR because I thought it was going to be another interesting mystery/thriller. While there was some mystery and even some paranormal aspects, it was more a story about a girl finding herself.
Hawthorn is an outsider. She has one friend. When she hears about Lizzie Lovett going missing, she comes up with some pretty wild theories of what happened to her. But the one she sticks with is that Lizzie is a werewolf. I thought it was interesting at first, but it just gets kind of bizarre. After a while, I stopped liking Hawthorn. She was shitty to her brother, shitty to her best friend, and sometimes to her parents. She grew though and I ended up liking her again.
Overall, this story is not at all what I expected. It was good enough to keep my interest. But I will be unhauling it because I didn’t like it enough to want to reread it in the future.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.